We report the case of a 12-year-old girl with thoracic spondylitis, who initially presented with a painless scoliotic deformity and was therefore misdiagnosed as having idiopathic scoliosis. Six weeks after initiation of brace therapy, increasing back pain neccessitated admission. X-Ray, bone scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging then revealed a pathologic process in D8. To rule out a tumorous lesion, open biopsy was performed and led to the diagnosis of acute spondylitis. Treatment with oral antibiotics and bed rest led to a complete resolution of the scoliotic deformity, which clearly demonstrated that it was secondary to spondylitis. After 2 years, the girl is persistently well and free of pain. This unusual presentation of spondylitis delayed correct diagnosis and therefore specific treatment in the case of this 12-year-old girl.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jochen Duchow, M.D., Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Homburg Saar, Universität des Saarlandes, 66424 Homburg Saar, Germany.
© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.