Pune: 85-year-old man back to his feet after spine surgery

An 85-year-old Mohanlal Rathi was suffering from back pain for a while. He lost strength in his legs and lost control over his urine. Doctors diagnosed him with tuberculosis of the spine. The disease damaged Rathi's 12th bone of the thoracic spine and was advised with spine surgery

Pune: 85-year-old man back to his feet after spine surgery

An 85-year-old businessman, Mohanlal Rathi, was suffering from back pain for a while. He took Over the Counter (OTC) medicines, which didn’t help him. Over time, the pain worsened, and he could not walk or even move in bed comfortably.

Further adding to his misery, he lost strength in his legs and lost control over his urine. He had to be catheterised to remove urine from his bladder. Dr Shirish Prayag diagnosed him of having a spine problem at Pune’s Prayag Hospital. He was then referred to Dr Mayur Kardile, an Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon at Jehangir Hospital.

On reviewing his condition and MRI images, he diagnosed Rathi to have Tuberculosis of the spine.

The disease damaged the 12 bone of Rathi’s thoracic spine, and there was a collection of pus which was compressing his spinal cord. Together, it was the cause of his weakness and back pain.

The patient and his relatives were counselled about the need for spine surgery. At first, the patient and the family were reluctant to undergo the procedure but, after an in-depth discussion, they agreed.

Dr Kardile performed a seven-hour-long surgery to decompress the spinal cord and replaced the damaged vertebra with an artificial Titanium mesh cage, supported with pedicle screws.

The patient was shifted to the ICU for medical management and was under Dr Kayanoosh Kodapatti and her team’s observation.

Rathi’s post-op recovery was smooth, and he started making progress. He was in the hospital for four days post-surgery and underwent physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises. The rehab exercises continued at home as well, and Anti-TB medications were also given. He gradually started regaining his strength in his lower limbs and control over his bladder and bowel. Within two months, he was walking with walker support, and his catheter was removed.

Looking back, Rathi said, “I feel, I made the correct choice of getting operated on my spine. Today, I am independent, and back on my feet only because of this surgery.”

He further added, “Many people suffer from spine ailments, but they avoid treatment because they fear that Spine surgery would lead them to paralysis. However, this is not true. This surgery has given me a new life and independence.”

Dr Kardile said, “The success of any treatment depends on timely and accurate diagnosis. The quote, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ works in the medical field as well. Today, the science of spine surgery has grown in leaps and bounds with the advent of modern spine surgical approaches, and minimally invasive spine surgical techniques, surgeons are now able to deliver a better outcome and predict faster recovery even in older patients.”

So don’t let your spine problems prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Seek help at the right time.