VERTEBRAL COLUMN - Secondary carcinoma

The specimen is a slice of vertebral column, running vertically and showing the lower thoracic and the lumber vertebrae. This shows almost complete destruction of the second lumbar vertebra, which is collapsed; the lower thoracic and the first lumbar vertebrae are extensively involved by tumour, as is the third lumbar vertebra.
Six months before admission, this woman had fallen on stairs, and had noted subsequently increasing stiffness and difficulty in walking. On admission, an X-ray showed the vertebral damage and, at autopsy, a carcinoma of the kidney was demonstrated; this had metastasised to bones and the liver.