Shalby Hospitals Ahmedabad is a world-renowned hospital for all types of orthopedic disorders including spine diseases. It is equipped with Digital Navigation System for spine surgery, which makes spine surgery very safe. We speak to Dr Niraj Vasavada, Director of Spine Surgery at Shalby in detail about some important aspects of spine diseases, their treatment as well as about why Shalby is considered one of the best hospitals for spine treatment including surgery.
What are common spine diseases/problems?
Common spine problems that people face are slip disc, lumbar canal stenosis, degenerated deformity, scoliosis, back ache, neck ache and compression fractures.
Do all spine diseases need surgery?
No, absolutely not. Most of the spine diseases can be treated with conservative treatment with medication, physiotherapy and recommended exercise. Surgery is recommended only when all possible conservative treatments have been tried but have not been effective, pain is persistent and disabling, there is nerve pinching or even spinal instability, MRI and CT Scan confirm the cause and it can be treated only with a surgery.
We often see that people are afraid of spine surgery. Is it a risky surgery?
Through the last few decades the whole scenario of spine surgery has changed dramatically. Use of advanced surgical instruments like endoscopes, microscopes etc. and the imaging devices and monitoring equipment provide the surgeon with unprecedented access and views into the spine, making spine surgery safer.
You have digital navigation for spine surgery at Shalby Hospitals Ahmedabad. Please tell us more about this.
We have Digital Spine Operation Room wherein we use digital navigation system for spine surgery. Shalby Hospitals Ahmedabad is one of the very few hospitals in Gujarat with such comprehensive dedicated Digital Spine Operation Room with cutting edge digital technology supported by equally efficient in-house surgical team. Some of the key advantages of digital spine navigation are accuracy in navigating through the delicate anatomy, ability to carefully avoid critical structures in the spine and ability to perform a more minimally invasive procedure. Thus, it preserves the healthy part of the spine during surgery. Besides, X-Ray radiation during the surgery is lower and the patients can get discharged earlier.
Tell is about a complex case you have treated
Some months back we had treated a UK lady in her mid-sixties whose case was very challenging. She was operated for spine surgery in UK about ten years back. Initially, she was fine but soon started developing disability in walking. Besides, she started to bend forward while standing or walking. Gradually, her condition became so disabling that she had to be in bed all the time as walking and standing were almost impossible for her. Subsequently, as a result of years of being bedridden, she started losing strength in both legs. the reason for her disability was what is called in medical terms as “post surgery saggital imbalance with dynamic instability”. In this condition a person’s spine becomes unstable and the patient starts stooping forward whenever she tries standing or walking. Something similar to a minaret due to loose base that starts bending forward. Her imbalance was corrected through a highly complex spine surgery requiring precision, experience & cutting edge technologies like neuromonitoring & navigation. Her surgery lasted close to nine hours and it was a success. She could not only stand erect but could walk too after her surgery.
Is spine surgery in India inexpensive compared to USA and UK?
Yes, it is. Generally, it costs almost 50% less than than what it would cost in countries like USA and UK.
We hear a lot about minimally invasive spine surgery these days. Tell us about it.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a surgery that is performed from just about 5 mm to 1 inch cut whilst a conventional surgery uses much bigger cut. This surgery has several advantages like minimal blood loss, much lower chances of infection, less pain post surgery, faster recovery and shorter hospital stay. We perform this type of surgery at Shalby regularly.