Case Studies

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Spinal Deformity – a Multidisciplinary Solution

A man in his 60’s consulted me with intractable back pains associated with degeneration of his lumbar spine.  There was widespread degeneration of the lumbar facets and discs, and he presented with a significant history of narcotic use, in a vane attempt to get his pains better controlled.

Neck pains and occipital headaches – a rare pathology

A 69 year old male presented to his GP with a slowly progressive, 6 month history of left sided neck pains and occipital headaches. Examination was unremarkable and in particular, strengths and reflexes in all 4 limbs were normal.

CT scan revealed some degenerative changes low down in the cervical facet joints and a referral was made to an orthopaedic spinal specialist, and from here facet joint injections were undertaken.

Ependymomas

A 75 year old female presented to her local hospital with pains in the chest and was admitted under a Respiratory Physician with (incidental) rib fractures, that in retrospect were old.  Clinical suspicion lead to further investigation and the diagnosis of an intradural mass at the level of T6 and T7 vertebrae.

An MRI suggested showed the mass with significant spinal cord compression, but despite these rather dramatic findings on scan, the patient maintained good strength in her lower limbs and normal sensation and function of the bladder and bowel.

Just don’t do it!

Falls off ladders are a surprisingly common injury in our community, and whilst most amount to nothing more than dented pride when they occur, some are considerably more serious – just ask Mr Ian (Molly) Meldrum.

Recently we had cause to treat yet another considerably more serious “ladder injury”.  A 56 year old man had been painting his ceilings at home when he fell off his ladder.  Whilst this may read as any other 6 foot step ladder incident, this particular event was made all that more serious by the fact that the ladder was perched precariously on the kitchen bench at the time.