Dr Aditya Gupta, Director, Neurosurgery and Cyberknife Centre, Agrim institute for neuro sciences, Artemis Hospital
30 year old housewife was successfully treated at Artemis Hospital recently. She had been suffering from a rare spinal cord tumor for over 6 months, which was persistently troubling her daily chores and could have left her paralyzed.
“Even though the tumor was in stage 1, if left untreated, it would have left her paralyzed from one side. Such tumors are benign in nature and are very rare, with only 0.5 – 1% of the population being affected. Keeping in mind the size and location of the tumor, which would have been risky to treat with conventional radiotherapy, the team decided to perform cyberknife robotic surgery. The procedure took 40 minutes and the patient was discharged immediately. Radiographic reports revealed that the tumor had subsided completely after the first session without affecting the healthy cells.
The patient had always been ignoring the aggravated pain in her left shoulder for months. Being a mother of two, she thought the pain was due to exertion, but she had been in consistent and unbearable pain that led to difficulty in walking at times. It was only then, when she started paying heed to. She started losing sensation in her arms and legs.
“Even though conventional surgery was kept as an alternative, but had a mild risk on patient getting paralysis and hence was not advisable. This is where cyberknife is effective and a safer treatment option. Being a non-invasive and pain free procedure, the tumor was completely removed with high dosage of targeted radiation.”
Early diagnosis is an important factor in the outcome of spinal cord tumors. Though many other treatment methods may be available for treating spinal tumors but due to the advantage of being totally non-invasive and eliminates the requirement of any kind of anesthetics, cyberknife is a very useful tool saving the patient’s time and helping in better and quicker recovery.
Treatment for spinal tumors remaining a challenge in India, due to the reason that only limited technology is available, and also the fact that the spine is sensitive and can receive only limited amount of radiation. Cyberknife being flexible in producing radiations is one of the best options for treatment of spinal tumor.