Know your brain and spine You have been entrusted with the care and feeding of the most extraordinary and complex creation in the universe. Home to your mind and personality,...
A peanut sized tumour in her spinal cord made her cripple with paralysis.
Farha is a mother of three from Sanaa, Yemen. For a year, she was having incessant pain in her left chest and back bone. She was shown in her country and she was diagnosed to have pneumonia. She came to us with severe pain, cough and difficulty in walking. She was very obese at 114 kilograms and her weight made her to be bed-ridden. We suspected some spinal issue and ordered for an MRI scan of her backbone which for our surprise, showed a peanut size tumour in her spinal cord in her upper back.
You must be wondering after all, a ‘peanut’ sized tumour. Yes, a tumour as small as a peanut can create havoc in such a crowded structure like spinal cord. If not diagnosed early, this peanut is enough to make you paralysed below the belly. We acted swiftly, and prepared her for a very complicated spinal cord surgery. Due to her extreme weight, surgery becomes complex and dangerous. She and her husband knew what is coming without surgery and gave us a go-ahead. We did a five hour surgery to remove her spinal cord tumour. We used spinal cord mapping technique wherein we monitor the spinal cord signals like we do ECG for heart. This technique makes a spinal cord surgery very safe by warning the surgeon if spinal cord is handled during surgery. We could successfully remove the tumour at the end. The picture was taken when she came to my room walking, before taking her return flight to Yemen. Priceless picture.