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C A S E    O F   T H E   M O N T H


         

SPINE TUMOR

A 67 year old gentleman presented with a two year history of low back pain and occasional leg pain which were treated with pain relievers. Four months ago, the back pain became worse, particularly at night, sometimes waking him up from sleep. This was accompanied by leg pain, the left side worse than the right, making it difficult for him to walk because of the pain. He had to use a wheelchair to move around. He also complained of numbness in his legs and constipation.

On examination, the patient was limping because of the pain. His muscle power was slightly weaker in both legs. He had numbness in both legs, worse on the left side. MRI of the lumbar spine showed a tumor inside the spinal canal, compressing the nerves.

The patient underwent surgery for removal of the spinal tumor. The tumor was a schwannoma, a benign tumor that came from one of the spinal nerves. As the tumor grew and increased in size, it started to exert pressure on the nerves beside it, causing pain, numbness, and weakness of the legs. The treatment is surgical removal of the tumor.

After the surgery, the patient’s back and leg pain decreased considerably. Within a few days, he was able to walk because the pain was much less. The numbness also decreased, although he was still constipated. He was discharged home improved within a week.

 

     
 
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