Prison doctors diagnose Alexey Navalny with two herniated discs
Doctors at Pokrov’s Penal Colony No.2 told Alexey Navalny that his MRI results revealed two herniated discs, the opposition politician’s lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, told TV Rain on Wednesday, April 7.
“We sent a lawyer’s request to a neurologist, explaining the diagnosis given to Navalny to him; that he [Navalny] has two herniated disc protrusions, and that right now is a critical period. This was shown on the MRI. Alexey himself wasn’t given the MRI [results], they didn’t show a medical report either, but he was given his diagnosis verbally to write down.”
The lawyer described one of the hernias as “quite difficult to treat” and noted that according to the neurologist, the treatment Navalny was prescribed in prison was “ineffective and could lead to a worsening of his condition.”
According to Mikhailova, the paramedics at the prison colony insist that Navalny needs to take diclofenac (a drug used to treat pain and inflammation, sold under the brand name Voltaren) and nicotinic acid (a form of vitamin B3). In her opinion, the prison administration is worried about a potential visit from a highly qualified doctor, because an independent medical examination of Navalny will confirm “that their heinous treatment led to a deterioration in his health.”
Mikhailova recalled that Navalny is still experiencing pain in his back and legs. “On top of everything else, he is losing feeling. In addition to his legs, his hands are also now involved,” the lawyer said.
Mikhailova also confirmed that Navalny was running a high fever on April 5 and 6, though on April 7 his temperature dropped to 37–37.2 degrees Celsius (98.6–98.9 degrees Fahrenheit). Navalny’s other lawyer, Vadim Kobzev, noted that their client is still in the prison’s sick ward. He also added that Navalny — who has been on hunger strike since March 31, demanding adequate medical treatment — is losing approximately one kilogram (2.2 pounds) per day.
Update. Later in the day on Wednesday, another post was uploaded to social media on Alexey Navalny’s behalf. In the post, he insists that the prison administration is trying to “discredit” his hunger strike.