“You don’t just need the right doctor, but the right advice, treatment and care,” with tears the 54-yrs-old Pushpa Kumari, explains her perils with her back pain. She was suffering from severe backpain for the last 5 years. “I tried everything- homeopathy, allopathy, naturopathy, physiotherapy, yoga, everything that was recommended to me by anyone, but nothing was of any use.” A resident of Hissar, which has few specialized centres for spine related issues, Ms Pushpa was battling pain and difficulty in standing and walking, even for short distances. “It was as if I had become disabled. My entire life had come to a standstill,” said Pushpa.
Post consultation with a local doctor, she was recommended a spine surgery. The surgery did relieve her pain to some extent, but at the same time, she also developed an uncommon complication where she ended up losing control over her urine and stool. Upon reassessment, she was also found to have a recurrent slip disc problem. The doctors shared that due to the surgery I had gone through a kind of paralysis in which one loses the control over ones passage of urine and stool. Though it’s a rare complication these days, but it can happen in some patients and if it happens, it could lead to a lifelong disability.”
Distraught over her condition, Ms Pushpa and her family started to consult family and friends, when someone recommended Dr Arun Bhanot, a specialist in curing spinal diseases at Paras Hospital, Gurgaon.
According to Dr Arun Bhanot, Chief of Spine Services, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon, “Puspha’s case was a result of an uncommon complication associated with spine surgery that doesn’t happen often these days. The spine is a complex organ that is linked to the brain and has numerous nerves connecting brain to the peripheral organs like limbs, urinary bladder and bowel etc. A spine surgery hence needs great precision. Any wrong pressure or maneuver on these nerve connections can cause damaging results. Pushpa’s new MRI showed that after the patient had undergone through a spine surgery at the 4-5 lumbar level, she had developed a large recurrence of the slip disc that caused great pressure on the spinal nerves. It was recommended that the patient undergo a repeat surgery to remove the recurrent slip disc and relieve the pressure from the spinal cord and nerves. We also suggested the use of screws and rods to stabilize her spine.
On hearing the proposed treatment plan Ms Pushpa was confounded with fears. “The thought of screws being inserted in your body is very scary. But Dr Arun Bhanot very nicely explained me the risks, the benefits of the surgery and the rehabilitation plan. I thought to myself, giving a shot with such an experienced medical professional is better than crying over my disability.”
Post the operation, Ms Pushpa within a few days started walking straight and gained control over her urine and stool passage. Continuous follow up with rehabilitation made her capable to take care of her daily activities. Today she is not dependent on anyone.
When Pushpa remembers the ordeal she can’t control her tears, “I am able, mobile and confident again. I thought my life would be confined within the four walls of my room, but thanks to medical excellence and the exceptional support and guidance of Dr Arun Bhanot, I am a new woman today.”
Dr Ankush Garg, another consultant with spine team at Paras Hospital, says it is not easy to recover from loss of control over urine and stool. However, Pushpa is quite fortunate to have recovered from a second spine surgery, whereas people and many doctors believe that a spine surgery gone wrong can never be amended.
Pushpa shares that it is her second shot at being alive. She is soon planning a picnic and a long vacation with her family, after all there is nothing that can limit her from enjoying her life to the fullest.