Lower back pain should not be ignored – renowned local orthapaedic surgeon

(From left to right) Dr. Usama S Taha, Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Rahul Shivadey, Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon, Mrs. Tabinda Shahid KhanKhan(Patient) and Ms Baderunnisa Khan

Zulekha Hospital specialist performs complex surgery saving patient from paralysis of lower limbs

Dubai, UAE, 12 March, 2017: Severe pain in the lower back coupled with increasing numbness in lower limbs are not symptoms to be ignored as they could indicate a crippling condition leaving the patient paralysed from the waist down.

This is the advice of Dr Rahul Shivadev, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon at Zulekha Hospital, who has recently completed a complex surgery on a UAE patient after diagnosing the rare condition, Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES).

CES is caused by a severe disc prolapse compressing the spinal cord, and without urgent attention and proper medical intervention the condition will severely affect mobility, eventually leading to complete paralysis of the lower body. CES can affect a number of at-risk groups including those suffering from chronic back pain, heavy duty workers or labourers and patients suffering from obesity.

While the condition can be considered rare, affecting around one in 10,000 cases, even those outside of the at-risk groups should be aware of the threat due toits unpredictable nature.

Dr Shivadey said: “Lower back pain radiating to the patient’s legs associated with tingling or numbness should be immediately brought to the attention of an orthopaedic or spinal surgeon and not neglected.

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“We find that the symptoms experienced by patients often go ignored for too which ultimately have a catastrophic affect. The positive outcomes of surgery, the patient’s healing process and their general standard of living all rely on early diagnosis and medical intervention.”

The UAE patient, Mrs. Khan, was suffering from severe lower back pain, loss of sensation in her left leg and difficulty passing urine when she was omitted to Zulekha Hospital for surgery after an MRI scan led to the diagnosis of CES.

Added Dr Shivadey: “Mrs. Khan came to us after suffering with lower back pain for a month, and her condition had deteriorated substantially three days before coming to us, with a sudden increase in pain and numbness. After the MRI results confirmed the diagnosis, we scheduled her for immediate surgery.

“Early diagnosis of CES and prompt treatment and surgery will lead to high favourable outcomes. Without immediate treatment, the patient is at risk of suffering permanent loss of the use of their lower limbs as well as bowel and bladder control.”

Dr Shivadey, who has been performing complex surgeries on unique cases at Zulekha Hospital for the past seven years, completed a successful discectomy which saw the patient on the operating table for four hours

Following the surgery, the severe pressure on Mrs. Khan’s spinal cord was alleviated allowing her to regain control of her limbs, bowel and bladder.

“Mrs. Khan was completely pain free and her numbness had been significantly reduced after her surgery. After only two days she was able to walk comfortably and independently,” said Dr Shivadey.

“Positive outcomes are dependent on early recognition and urgent intervention, this is key when dealing with conditions such as CES. In this particular case, we operated on the second day after our diagnosis with excellent results.”

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