Neuroschistosomiasis mimicking lower back pain: case report of a rare differential diagnosis in a pediatric patient

Background
Spinal myelitis is an infrequent manifestation of spinal cord infection. It is caused by the Schistosoma species, which are endemic in South America, part of the Middle East, and Africa.

Case presentation
We report the case of a 13-year-old male adolescent complaining of progressive lower back pain and weakness of the lower extremities for 3 days. Initial magnetic resonance imaging revealed typical transverse myelitis. Subsequently, parasite serology showed a markedly elevated level of Schistosoma antibody titers, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis yielded normal results. Because of our presumptive diagnosis of neuroschistosomiasis, the patient was prescribed an empirical regimen of an anti-parasitic agent, after which his neurological deficit promptly subsided. The patient was followed for 1 year and showed a complete long-term resolution of symptoms.

Conclusions
This case highlights the increasing prevalence of neuroschistosomiasis in recent years, particularly in patients with a history of travel to endemic regions. Moreover, the study reports the clinicoradiological features of this enigmatic disorder. This rare occurrence potentiates further studies to address unanswered questions about neuroschistosomiasis.

Internal fixation of femoral shaft fractures in children by intramedullary Kirschner wires (a prospective study): its significance for developing countries.

To evaluate internal fixation by intramedullary Kirschner wires as a surgical technique in the treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children by a prospective study.17 femoral shaft fractures at various levels in 16 children aged 2-15 years were treated by closed intramedullary Kirschner wiring under image intensifier control between May 2000 and October 2003. No external splint was used.Fracture union was achieved in 6-14 weeks. Non-weight bearing crutch walking was started 2-3 days after surgery. Full weight bearing started 6-14 weeks. Average operative time was 40 min (range 20-72 min). Wires were removed after 8-22 weeks. There were no infections, no limb length disparity. One child had pin track ulceration. A big child of 14 years had angulation of the fracture.Intramedullary nailing of femoral shaft fractures in children by stainless steel Kirschner wires is an effective method, which compares well with other studies. It is a simple procedure, which can be easily reproduced. Blood loss is minimal, and the operative time short. There is no need pre-bend the wires in a C or S curve. Stainless steel Kirschner wires are cheap, universally available, and can be manufactured locally. The cost of Image intensifiers is affordable in most of the cities of the developing countries. The hospital does not have to maintain a costly inventory. Provides early mobility, return to home and, school. Gives a predictable clinical pathway and reduces occupancy of hospital beds. The technique was successfully applied for internal fixation of other diaphyseal fractures in children and some selected diaphyseal fractures in adults. Based on my experience and a review of the literature, I recommend this technique as a modality for treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children aged 2 to 14 years.