Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My mother-in-law is having her second back operation in two months. The first took pressure off her lumbar spine. The second is to remove a tumor in her upper back, which was really causing the problems. Right now she is paralyzed from the waist down. Will she recover from this?

Paralysis can be temporary in cases like this, especially if she wasn't completely paralyzed before the second operation. Timing is important, too. The sooner the pressure is taken off the spinal cord, the better its chances of recovery. Irreparable damage can occur if months to years pass by before the problem is diagnosed.

She may get partial recovery with some losses in sensation, strength, or bowel and bladder control. No one will know the final outcome for many months to come. Encourage your mother-in-law to take a "wait and see" approach and not assume the results are final right after this operation.


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