A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 4 (ADAMTS-4) can effectively degrade articular cartilage matrix proteoglycan and damage the intervertebral disc of spinal tuberculosis patients, resulting in deterioration of the physical properties of articular cartilage. Transforming growth factor β activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is similar to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and closely related to a variety of pathophysiological processes. This study intended to explore the expression of ADAMTS-4, VCAM-1, and TAK1 in cartilage tissue obtained from spinal tuberculosis patients and their inter-relationships, aiming to provide new treatment approaches for spinal tuberculosis. Patients with spinal tuberculosis (N = 60) from the department of orthopedics and patients with traumatic spinal fracture (N = 60, controls) were recruited for the study. ADAMTS-4, VCAM-1, and TAK1 expression was detected by immunohistochemistry. SPSS 19.0 software was used for data processing and analysis. The score values of ADAMTS-4, TAK1, and VCAM-1 were 1.45 ± 0.10, 1.33 ± 0.09, and 1.54 ± 0.11, respectively, which were significantly higher than those in normal controls (P < 0.05). ADAMTS-4 showed positive correlation with VCAM-1 and TAK1. ADAMTS-4, TAK1, and VCAM-1 expressions increased in spinal tuberculosis patients. They could provide clinical reference for spinal tuberculosis diagnosis and new treatment strategies can be devised by focusing on their positive correlation.