Mount Sinai Neurosurgeons Reverse Paraplegia

As an airport baggage handler, Debbie Ramcharan expected back pain, but, when the pain worsened and her legs failed, she turned to Mount Sinai

In 2009, Debbie Ramcharan, 34, was working as an airline baggage handler when she began experiencing lower back pain. She attributed her pain to lifting heavy luggage. The pain intensified, however, and, toward the end of the year, it became so severe that Debbie sought treatment at the emergency room.

An MRI of Debbie's lower back revealed the cause of her pain — a large, destructive metastatic lesion involving the L1 vertebra. Debbie was scheduled for back surgery. Just days before her surgery, though, she fell, losing all function in her legs (paraplegia).

Multiple Surgeries for Multiple Problems

Mount Sinai's Arthur Jenkins, MD, performed a minimally invasive procedure on Debbie's spine — an L1 bilateral two-stage decompression and cement vertebroplasty. Chemotherapy and radiation followed. After weeks of rehabilitation, Debbie regained nearly all of her neurological function and was walking again.

But Debbie's treatment was not complete. Debbie had also been diagnosed with lesions in her sternum, ribs, and breast. Because Debbie performed so well with chemotherapy and radiation, her team of physicians determined that her remaining lesions were treatable.

Debbie underwent additional surgery to remove her remaining tumors. She continues to do well, walking without difficulty and with minimal back pain.

We Can Help

If you experience persistent back pain, call The Mount Sinai Hospital. We offer neurosurgical expertise that is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation. Call our Neurosurgical Spine Program at 1-800-MD-SINAI (800-637-4624) to make an appointment.