Functional Outcome after Treatment of Tuberculosis of the Upper Extremity

Ida S. Tacata and Nathaniel S. Orillaza Jr.

Section of Hand and Micro Surgery, Department of Orthopedics,
College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila

Objective. Tuberculosis of the upper extremity, while rare, is still a problem in the Philippines. Included in the primary aim of TB treatment is cure of the patient and restoration of quality of life and productivity. The purpose of this paper is to describe a series of patients treated for Tuberculosis of the upper extremity in the context of level of function and possible factors contributing to disability.

Method. Records of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital Department of Orthopaedics were reviewed to recruit adult patients treated for Tuberculosis of the upper extremity from 2009-2013. Patients who consented were asked to answer a Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH) validated for Filipinos.

Results. Fifteen (15) patients presenting with conditions ranging from synovitis to arthritis, treated medically and surgically, were evaluated for function at least 6 months after treatment. The average disability for strenuous activities. Patients reported minimal limitations in doing activities of daily living.

Conclusion. Patients treated for Tuberculosis of the upper extremity still present with relatively low levels of disability. Activities of daily living were generally performed without problems but activities requiring exertion were consistently reported as a difficult task for most participants.

Key Words: tuberculosis, function, upper extremity, surgery