40-Year-Old Suffering from Intradural Spinal Cord tumor, Successfully Underwent Life-saving Surgery

A team headed by Dr. Girish L. Bhalerao, Consultant Orthopaedic Joint Replacement(Arthroplasty), Sports Medicine (Arthroscopy) & Spine Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, and Dr. Ashwin Borkar, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, successfully removed a 40-year-old man’s spinal cord tumor with utmost surgical skills and under a high precision microscope. The patient from Mumbai represented with symptoms such as back pain that was troubling him for many months. His job profile involved a lot of desktop sitting, working on the laptop due to work from home nature during lockdown that added misery to his pain. Now, the patient has been recovered completely and can independently perform all activities of daily living within 24 hours with ease.


Life was smooth until Bhupesh Ankolekar, a 40-year-old resident of Mumbai, who is an IT engineer by profession; encountered back pain, a few months ago. Due to the erratic schedule, Bhupesh treated it as an ordinary pain and neglected it. Slowly, he found it difficult to carry out his daily activities. His pain worsened during the current pandemic when the entire country is under lockdown due to coronavirus. The patient visited Dr. Girish L Bhalerao at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, on OPD basis in the first week of May for, what he assumed as, simple backache.


After taking a proper medical history and a thorough physical and clinical examination patient was asked to get an X-ray for his spine. His symptoms were on and off and were clinical signs were not consistent. Hence, he was treated like any normal mechanical backache. To his dismay, after 10 days, Bhupesh’s symptoms showed a similar pattern of waxing and waning and could not find any relief. Such response triggered a high suspicion from Dr. Girish Bhalerao and he asked the patient to go for an MRI wherein it was revealed that there was a large multi-level intradural homogeneous tumor size 3.5 X 1.8 X 1.8 cm within the spinal cord spacing the entire extent with severe compression of the nerve roots in the proximal Lumbar region.

Bhupesh, a recent father to a one-month-old child with his wife resting homebound after a cesarean section was taken aback after getting the diagnosis. He was also worried about his elderly parents who in this pandemic are at risk of acquiring fever and viral symptoms because of which he could not get any family members to accompany him during hospitalization. However, considering all options, and after counseling by Dr. Bhalerao, the patient underwent a successful tumor excision surgery at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road. And the tumor was removed with utmost surgical skills and under a high precision microscope.

“The tumor was inside the dural coats of the spinal cord and was in close proximity to the nerve roots of Cauda Equina with an impending syndrome of signs and symptoms. The patient was explained about the risks related to nerve root damage due to such nature of the tumor. This long surgery required a specialized operation theatre with advanced logistic facilities like a high precision microscope to increase the success rate of the surgical outcome”, said Dr. Girish L. Bhalerao, Super Specialty Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road.

“Pandemic or No Pandemic, they always need specialized surgeries requiring exquisite hospital logistic support for early prompt intervention in order to deliver successful lifesaving results.” Dr. Bhalerao adds


Dr. Ashwin Borkar, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road added, “The excised tumor was encapsulated, pedunculated, and put mechanical pressure on the nerve roots. The tumor was removed entirely in toto with no remnants. It took 4 hours for the entire surgery.” Post-surgery, the patient started recovering with no pain and could resume his activities of daily living within 24 hours. The patient was discharged after 3 days of post OP care and rehabilitation. Within 24 hours, the patient recovered completely and can independently perform all activities of daily living.”

“My parents and wife were shocked after the diagnosis. Not only me, but the entire family was also terrified when they heard about the spine surgery after concerns mentioned by my friends and relatives. We were afraid of complications especially for risk to sensory-motor function or even to life. We thank the hospital and the doctors and nurses who took care of me not only during my stay at the hospital but during post-op follow-up as well. Dr. Girish Bhalerao’s approach was very comforting and gave us confidence. He is a very skilled and talented Surgeon and exceptionally humble to answer all the doubts, however silly they are, with great patience. He makes his patients feel like family and takes care even during post OP follow up with great deliberation. Such doctors are rare to find and I’m indebted to him for my life”, delightedly conveyed Mr. Bhupesh.

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