Breaking News
More () »

Little Rock's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Little Rock, Arkansas | THV11.com

Sometimes back pain isn't just back pain | Wear the Gown

Walter Anger thought he only had pulled a muscled, but his CT scan showed something else--aortic dissection.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — You can bet at some point as Walter Anger gets on his exercise machines, he thinks back to that day he met Dr. Mike Rose in the emergency room.

"My job is to look for the more dangerous things," Dr. Rose said.

Because of that, Walter exercises under the watchful eye of a trainer. He first noticed his back pain after helping his son move into his dorm.

"The next day, my back was hurting and I just figured I'd pulled it or something," Anger explained.

But it was pain Walter couldn't get a handle on. He went to the ER, where he found out the back pain wasn't back pain.

"The pain in the upper back like that can also be atypical symptoms. Problems with your heart, problems with your blood vessels," Dr. Rose explained.

The screen on the workout machine harmless is harmless. But that day in the ER, the CT scan of his heart said something else--aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the aorta.

"It has a very high mortality, even with aggressive treatment. It's a dangerous condition," Dr. Rose said.

"You know when you have to start having discussions with your wife about where your life insurance policies are, then you know it's serious," Anger said.

Walter is going to be okay thanks to a team of doctors, led by Dr. Rose, that took immediate action.

"I have several [doctors] now and I'm happy for every one of them," Anger said.

Dr. Rose keeps close tabs of Walter's progress. It's severe, but it's also rare.

"If you take a group of 100,000 people over the course of one year, well then you'll have two to five cases of it," Dr. Rose said.

Walter now takes steps to get better. He does what he's told. And that brings us to an interesting point Walter made about this whole experience that all of us, especially men, need to hear.

"Wear the gown under your conditions, not their conditions. I wore it under their conditions and it wasn't as easy," Anger said.

RELATED: If after a few steps you're out of breath, you may need this procedure done

RELATED: 'Any mammogram is better than no mammogram at all' | Wear the Gown