Noida: 30-year-old female from Noida who was paralyzed and on wheelchair support was successfully treated at Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital, Noida recently. Post operatively she is able to freely walk and is disabled no more. She had been suffering from a rare spinal cord tumor for over 6 months, which was persistently troubling her daily chores and left her paralyzed which otherwise could also have been life threatening.
Detailed examination and MRI of the neck were done that revealed a non-cancerous tumor sitting inside the spinal cord.The tumor was a big firm cervico-thoracic meningioma, a type of extra-medullary tumor that develops within the supporting network of cells in and around the spinal cord, thereby affecting its functioning. Due to the size of the tumor, it had caused severe compression in the upper part of the spinal cord that led to paraplegia (paralysis of two limbs).
“Detailed examination of her spine revealed a benign tumor in the cervical part of her spine that had caused paralysis of both her legs. Such tumors are one of the riskiest tumors to be removed, as in some cases, post-surgical events may result in permanent disability in all the forelimbs. Pertaining to the size and location of the tumor and her debilitating condition, she was advised for a minimally invasive microsurgery. Thankfully the surgery went very well, and we were able to remove the entire tumor from the cervical spinal cord. And immediately after surgery, the patient was able to move her arms and legs freely and out of the wheelchair, able to walk with minimal support. After three months of the surgery the patient is able to walk freely without any support.” Said Dr Prankul Singhal, Head – Neurosciences, Yatharth Super Specialty Hospital, Noida.
Though conventional open surgery remains an alternative, with a serious risk of infection, blood loss, cosmetic appeal and even permanent paralysis/ disability. Given the size of the tumor, the risk would not have been advisable. This is where microsurgery becomes effective and risk-free, due to minimal pain, maintaining the cosmetic appeal, precise and minimally invasive.
As the tumor grows, it affects the spinal cord, gradually. Depending on the location and the type of tumor, the severity may vary from person to person. The usual symptoms include back pain, loss of sensation especially in legs and arms, difficulty in walking, decrease in body immunity and sensitivity to pain, increase in heat and cold sensitivity, loss of bowel movement control, muscle weakness and paralysis of limbs in extreme cases. Back pain is the early and the foremost symptom in both cancerous and noncancerous tumors.
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