ACTION STAT: Malignant spinal cord compression
Stephanie M. Lucas MSN, RN, OCN

February 2012 
Volume 42  Number 2
Pages 72 - 72
  PDF Version Available!

MS. L, 63, ARRIVES in the outpatient chemotherapy clinic for her scheduled treatment. During your assessment, she tells you her back has been aching for the last 2 days. She's been taking acetaminophen at home with no relief. Ms. L was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 10 months ago and a recent bone scan revealed several new lesions. She's been coming to the clinic once a month for chemotherapy.Ms. L says her back pain woke her up during the night about 2 days ago. She denies any recent falls or trauma. The back pain originates in the lower thoracic region of her spine. She describes it as a constant ache that radiates to both legs and is exacerbated by ambulation or other movement. Ms. L also reports decreased sensation and tingling in both feet. Her gait appears ataxic. On exam, she has 3/5 muscle strength and decreased deep tendon reflexes in both legs. She denies any recent changes in bowel or bladder function.Multiple myeloma can cause skeletal destruction from the formation of osteolytic

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