New Delhi: 9 year old African boy was successfully treated from a rare life threatening spinal complication at Artemis Hospital. The patient had a huge swelling in the spinal cord that was restricting the blood flow to the brain. The condition would have been fatal if not treated on time. Upon successful treatment, the patient celebrated his 10th Birthday with the doctors.

The kid since the age of 5 years used to feel searing hot pain in his spine and once fainted. MRI revealed some wrong connections between his arteries and veins in spinal cord that confirmed Spinal Arterio Venous Malformation (AVM). This disturbance of flow in blood deprives the surrounding cells of vital oxygen and causes cells in your spinal tissue to rapture, deteriorate, bleeding in spinal cord or die. Timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spinal cord from permanent damage.

The patient had been suffering from the condition for many years and had visited many hospitals in his country, but due to the complications involved, he was denied treatment. The kid upon referral was brought to Artemis hospital where the Neurosurgery team led by Dr Aditya Gupta investigated the case.

“Upon getting through the history of the patient, detailed investigation was done wherein the MRI reports revealed a big swollen blood vessel in the spine which was pressing the most critical part, obstructing normal blood flow to the brain, due to which certain parts of his body would have been under developed or paralyzed. The kid had random pain throughout the body and burning sensations, and with time his condition worsened. The case was complicated and risky seeing the location of the swelling and its complications but the team decided to perform cyberknife radiosurgery which is minimally invasive and pain free.” Said Dr Aditya Gupta, Director-Neurosurgery & Head Cyberknife, Artemis Hospital

After MRI, the lesion was studied in detail by spinal angiography to accurately detect the location of abnormal connection. Usually embolization is a minimally invasive surgical procedure preferred. But due to its complex location and size Advanced and non-invasive procedure was highly useful.

Cyberknife radiation surgery reduces the long term risks of AVM hemorrhage by delivering high doses of radiation to shrink it completely. With the use of latest image guidance and computer assisted robotic system, the procedure delivers multiple beams of high frequency radiation to the actual site from all the directions. Another advantage is that the missile guided technology can also automatically track and detect any movement in patient to correct the delivery of radiation beams to the exact treatment location.

“The process being completely pain free and 100% safe (with no side effects), also eliminates the use of anesthesia or other invasive head frames for stabilizing (as in case of other traditional techniques like gamma knife). Almost in 99% of the cases patients recover within single treatment and get back to normal activity immediately after the procedure.” Added Dr Gupta