Tuberculosis of the sacroiliac joint: clinical features, outcome, and evaluation of closed needle biopsy in 11 consecutive cases

Am J Med. 1988 Mar;84(3 Pt 2):622-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(88)90146-5.


Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) involvement has been reported in up to 9.7 percent of patients with skeletal tuberculosis. Lack of awareness of this now uncommon form of infection often leads to diagnostic delay and increased morbidity. Eleven consecutive cases of SIJ tuberculosis are reported; clinical and radiologic features, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome are discussed. Buttock pain was the presenting complaint in all patients. However, radicular pain in the lower back (seven patients) or lower limb (10 patients) was common and in one patient precipitated an unnecessary surgical intervention. SIJ tuberculosis is frequently an isolated phenomenon. Therefore, direct sampling of the SIJ is necessary to establish the diagnosis. The recently described technique of closed needle biopsy of the SIJ was employed in all 11 patients and established the diagnosis in nine of the 11.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sacroiliac Joint / pathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Osteoarticular* / pathology


  • Antitubercular Agents