Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Mycobacterium tuberculosis of the elbow joint


Mycobacterium tuberculosis(TB) affecting the elbow joint is rarely reported in the developed world. We present the case of an 85-year-old Caucasian female who complained of a chronically discharging and painful wound across her left elbow during her admission for an ischaemic stroke. This was initially deemed to be either a bursitis or local manifestation of amyloid by her general practitioner and dermatologist respectively prior to admission. She was commenced on flucloxacillin by the medical team for presumed cellulitis with minimal response. A synovial fluid sample and repeated wound swabs yielded no growth from routine bacterial culture. Radiological assessment together with knowledge of her husband having previous TB raised the possibility of TB arthritis. Synovial fluid aspirate was subsequently sent for acid–alcohol fast bacilli microscopy and mycobacterial culture that confirmed M. tuberculosis. She was consequently started on multidrug TB therapy, over a year after the onset of her symptoms.

  • bone and joint infections
  • tb and other respiratory infections
  • orthopaedics

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.