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Alan K. Swenson, James G. Gollogly, Ou Cheng Ngiep and Mark Braidwood


Background: Cambodia boasts one of the highest incidences of TB in the world. As such, healthcare providers are experienced with types of extrapulmonary TB such as septic Mycobacterium tuberculosis arthritic infections, not seen in developed countries.

Objective: Examine the incidence and distribution of TB arthritis cases at a Cambodian surgical center, explore the problems of diagnosis and current methods of treatment for this disease.

Methods: The written charts, operation records, and electronic database of patients with clinically diagnosed extrapulmonary TB, confirmed with a positive biopsy between January 2001 and July 2010 were searched. While medical treatment for the TB was given at other facilities, the operations performed and the result for patients with follow-up was reviewed.

Results: Between January 2001 and July 2010, 38 cases of TB arthritis at the CSC in Cambodia were histologically confirmed. Twenty-eight cases affected the lower extremity with the majority affecting the knee and ankle. All 13 patients receiving arthrodesis reported positive surgical outcomes.

Discussion/Conclusion: TB arthritis persists as an ongoing problem at CSC with a significant level of incidence. Arthrodesis is a viable and cost effective mean of treating TB arthritis in Cambodia.