Nagpur: A 57-year-old woman weighing 105 kg started having severe lower back pain that went down to her legs a month ago. Still, she preferred to endure the pain and avoided clinical intervention, suspecting generalized weakness.
After a few days when she developed weakness in her legs and had difficulty standing up, urinating, and defecating, the family took her to a doctor who advised an immediate MRI scan.
The examination revealed that she had a tumor in her lower back. The cyst compressed its spinal nerves, which resulted in immobility, among other neurological complications.
The spine surgeon Dr. Nikhil Malewar said it was a sudden onset and the patient neglected the condition as it was considered a routine pain for over two weeks.
Dr. Malewar said timely surgery helped her recover and walk again. “Her weight was a major hurdle in performing the operation. A patient weighing 105 kg is not a routine. There is always a risk to the patient’s life and early recovery after surgery may not be expected. However, the quick decision-making from a familial and clinical point of view ensured that she regained her strength, ”he said.
Dr. Malewar added that once the weakness sets in in the lower limbs, not many are able to recover quickly and in some cases it can also lead to permanent disability.
“The cyst was located between the lower back (L4 & L5). It was removed and the bones were fixed with screws, cages, and rods. One day after the operation she was able to walk with assistance and within a few weeks she could walk without assistance and regain control of her bladder and bowel, ”he said.
Dr. Malewar said it is also important to have surgery in an emergency if the patient shows signs of neurological weakness
He added that the condition is called paraplegia – when the patient’s body has no movement below the waist.
Dr. Malewar advised that the patient should see a doctor immediately if he has back pain with weakness. “Back pain is common, most of it is muscular. But if it lasts three to four weeks and you can’t walk, you need to see a specialist, ”he said.
A relative said the patient has now fully recovered and can continue to perform routine tasks.