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Back pain be wary of spinal tumors

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SKDS – Symptoms of spinal tumors are similar to disc herniation, very painful and causing nerve compression. Patients should not be subjective. When symptoms appear, they should go to the doctor early to rule out malignancy.

Image of spinal tumor.

1. Paralysis of both legs due to spinal tumor

A 65-year-old female patient with thoracic spine pain and slight numbness in her legs for nearly a year has not gone to the hospital for examination. She self-treated with traditional medicine but it did not help, her legs gradually weakened…

For about the last 3 months, the patient could not walk and his legs were very numb. The family took the patient to find a “garden healer” to give him medicine and acupuncture, but to no avail…. The patient’s paralysis got worse and worse. , until there was sharp pain in the chest, difficulty breathing… then I finally went to the hospital for a check-up.

The patient was admitted to Tuyen Quang Provincial General Hospital with severe pain in the thoracic spine, numbness from both sides to both legs, difficulty urinating, complete loss of movement in both legs, dystrophic edema, knee joints and The ankle is quite stiff…

After being examined, scanned, and doing the necessary tests , doctors discovered that the patient had a large tumor in the thoracic spinal cord segment T3-4 (a very narrow segment of the spinal canal) that was compressing the entire spinal cord.

Doctors from the Department of Neurosurgery coordinated with the Department of Surgery – Anesthesia and Resuscitation to perform spinal surgery, successfully removing the entire tumor to relieve spinal cord compression.

One week after surgery, the patient is now much less numb, can urinate and urinate freely, and can move his legs a little… The patient continues to be monitored and treated.

2. Warning signs of spinal tumors

Spinal tumor is a condition in which there is an abnormal tumor in the spine, including a tumor in the spinal cord or tumor in the spinal canal. The most common symptom is back pain, especially in the middle or low area of ​​the back.

This back pain is not related to injury, stress or physical activity. However, the pain can increase with movement and is often more painful at night. Pain can radiate to the hips, legs, feet, and arms and can get worse over time, even with conventional pain relief measures used to treat mechanical back pain.

Depending on the location and type of the tumor, there may be other symptoms and signs. Especially when malignant tumors grow and compress the spinal cord, nerve roots, blood vessels, or vertebrae.

Accompanying symptoms include:

  • Loss of feeling or muscle weakness in the legs, arms, or chest
  • Difficulty walking, can cause falls
  • Reduces pain, heat, and cold sensations
  • Loss of normal bowel and bladder activity (constipation, urinary retention)
  • Paralysis can occur at different levels and in different places in the body, depending on the nerve being compressed.
  • Scoliosis or other spinal abnormalities are the result of a large benign tumor.
When you have symptoms of back pain or numbness in your limbs, you need to see a doctor soon.

Warning signs of spinal tumors are different for each person but are often seen as tactile sensory disorders in the arms, legs or hands and feet. Sometimes the pain runs from the back, under the buttocks, back of the thighs, and calves similar to sciatica .

Some patients may have muscle weakness in their arms or legs, difficulty walking, or even paralysis; bowel dysfunction, urinary incontinence… Patients should not be subjective when having these symptoms, they need to be examined early for timely diagnosis and treatment.

3. Physician advice

Spinal tumor is a dangerous disease, difficult to treat, and after treatment, the patient also needs proper care to help recover better. Doctors will advise on appropriate care for each specific case.

Proper care helps reduce pain for the patient and improve recovery. Patients who receive good care at the hospital can increase treatment effectiveness. Patients are not allowed to exercise much and spend most of their activities in the hospital, so they need help from family members and medical staff.

After being discharged home from the hospital, the patient needs to learn how to use assistive devices such as wheelchairs, electrical muscle stimulators, and mechanical devices. Besides, exercising, gentle movement every day, and breathing exercises help patients not depend on respiratory support devices.

Some complications of spinal tumors can cause permanent paralysis, so patients need instructions on how to care for them at home. Loss of automatic reflexes is also a consequence of spinal tumor compression, easily causing constipation. Family members need to prepare soft, easy-to-digest and fiber-rich foods for the patient, and drink plenty of water to soften stools. When suffering from a spinal tumor, the patient needs to persevere with encouragement and support from relatives and doctors.

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