Daniela Putzolu. Medullary traction myelopathy with Arnold Chiari Syndrome type I, C1-D12 Syringomyelia and Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Published by at 30 June, 2017


Surgery date: February 2008



My name is Daniela Putzolu,  I was born in Nuoro (Italy) on 01/02/1980 and I live in Macomer. I’m going to tell you my story briefly:

I started to study dance in Macomer at the age of four and I did it until I was thirteen. I had always headaches and back pain, almost unbearable, but I kept on dancing because for me it was more important than my own pain. By medical prescription, every year I had checkups because doctors told me that the pain depended on the effort of the dance and I was constantly taking anti-inflammatory pills because of it.

My dance teacher took me to Rome for an audition at the National Dance Academy. I won, with great merits, and left to pursue the dream of my life, to become a dance choreographer. So many sacrifices and a lot of study to reach my goals. The years went by, my suffering worsened, my problems with the eyes, sensitivity and balance also increased. I could not feel the heat and the cold and I was always anxious. In my fourth year at the Academy, I was selected by a great choreographer for a show in Sweden. I went to Sweden and on the last day of the show I felt bad. My left leg failed and I had a severe pain but I took painkillers and it became less persistent.

We went back to Rome and Christmas vacations were right away. I returned to Sardinia and after two days I felt bad again. I went to the orthopedistand asked him for an urgent MRI. At the Cagliari hospital, I was told that I would have to wait. There was a long waiting list and it was Christmas but I was feeling bad so I decided to do the MRI in a private center because it was faster. In two days, I did it in a  radiological center in Cagliari. “Herniated disc to be operated urgently” was the result according to the specialist.

I brought everything to my doctor who gave me a therapy to calm the pain while waiting for my next trip to Rome and for taking a decision on the surgery for my herniated disc.

I left and, despite the pain, I returned to my dance classes. The following day my left leg failed, I had no strength, I had violent headaches and I couldn’t feel my left hand. Everyone was scared and I was admitted to the San Giovanni di Dio Hospital in Rome. They called my mother asking for my MRI done in Cagliari. Other tests, like CT scan, contrast MRI,  were done immediately. Syringomyelia and Arnold Chiari Syndrome was the immediate diagnosis. I had to interrupt both of my studies, dance and High School.

I was getting worse and worse until my doctor decided to have me visited at a specialized center outside Italy, the Institut Chiari in Barcelona, to avoid the craniotomy (a very delicate, invalidating and dangerous surgery). We couldn’t wait any longer, as I was feeling so bad, so we went to Barcelona with my doctor because he was very worried about me. We got there and I was told I had to undergo surgery urgently.

Today I can tell my story. Currently, I am better. Unfortunately, I could not go back to dance school due to the lesions caused by the fact that I underwent surgery late, but I am alive and I owe my life to Prof. Alessandro Rusti, my doctor in Rome, whom I will thank for all my life for having the courage and strength of not opening my skull. Thanks to the entire surgical team of the Institut Chiari & Syringomyelia & Scoliosis de Barcelona, specialists in these pathologies and especially thanks to Dr. Royo who now is my guardian angel.

Daniela Putzolu

Mail: danielaputzolu89@tiscali.it



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