The complete obstruction of a large artery, including the aorta, is a serious event which, as a general rule, has devastating effects. Sometimes symptoms may be ambiguous and the diagnosis may not be immediate. Prompt recognition of this condition provides the only hope of survival from this rare and catastrophic disease. A 52-year-old man was well until an episode of sudden low back pain and paresis of the legs resulted in admission to the Emergency Department (ED). The entire process of management, from admission to ED until the end of surgical operation, took about 4 hours. After 4 days the patient was discharged, in good clinical conditions. This case report highlights the importance of rapid management of this rare clinical condition for optimal outcome. Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.