A 19-year-old Filipino man was admitted to our hospital because of persisting fever and back pain. He had recognized his symptoms 6 months previously, but a definite diagnosis was not made. Image testing demonstrated a compressed fracture of the thoracic vertebrae accompanied with a perivertebral abscess. A biopsy specimen revealed granuloma compatible with tuberculosis (TB). Anti-TB drugs were initiated, and his clinical symptoms steadily improved. However, he developed neuropathic symptoms due to exacerbation of the abscess two months after starting the anti-TB drugs. An immediate laminectomy was performed resulting in symptom relief ; however severe kyphosis remained. Polymerase chain reaction testing of the abscess collected during the operation was positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, confirming the diagnosis of spinal TB. The diagnosis of spinal TB has been a challenge world-wide. Clinicians should be aware of the demographic background as well as the clinical and laboratory features of spinal tuberculosis, facilitating earlier diagnosis.