Picture Quiz: Spinal cord compression
- By: Deborah King, Barbara Hammer
An 82 year old man was admitted to the emergency department with pain in his back. He had a past medical history of hypertension, which was well controlled, and he complained of nocturia--he got up four times a night for the last six months.
The initial physical examination including neurological examination was unremarkable. His full blood count, electrolytes, and liver function tests were normal. A plain x ray of his thoracic spine reveaved a vertebral collapse of T6. Six days after admission, he was unable to move his right leg and was catheterised because of urinary retention. Examination found reduced power in his right leg and decreased reflexes but no sensory deficit.