Fortis Hospital, Noida successfully conducted Spine Surgeries in elderly patients freeing them from the burden of a walking stick. While spine surgeries can be challenging when performed on elderly patients, it is also a myth that these surgical procedures are not possible in old age and carry a high risk of paralysis. The hospital operates successfully on nearly 20 such cases with spine disease every month. The team is led by Dr. Rahul Gupta, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery.
The patient, Mrs. Shingari Devi, 84 years, had been bedridden due to severe pain in the back. Diagnosis revealed a severe degenerative spine disease with nerve compression. Degenerative disc disease is a condition where bones, ligament and joints become weak and that can compress the spinal cord or nerves in the spine. Increased deterioration of the discs quality due to degeneration affects the structure of the spine resulting in pressure on the nerves and henceforth pain and loss of mobility. A multiple level decompression and fixation surgery was conducted on the patient. In a few days she was back on her feet and in a month she was walking quite fast with a stick and climbing up or down staircases by herself.
Dr. Vinod Talwar, 74 years, was suffering from severe degenerative spine disease and was unable to walk for more than 100 metres without severe back and leg pains. Diagnosis of his condition revealed a lumbar spine fracture and instability with compression of nerves. There is no single cause for this condition. A faulty sitting posture, too much pressure on the spine due to overweight and osteoporosis are better identified causes for this condition. A rectification surgery to decompress the nerves and straighten the spine was conducted. The patient was able to walk within two days of surgical intervention and returned to normalcy within six weeks.
Mr. Tusharkanti Dutta, 71 years, presented with a complaint of chronic and severe pain in his back and legs. He was diagnosed as a classic case of degenerative spine and compression. Minimally invasive or keyhole surgery was performed for him and nerves were decompressed and special minimally invasive screws and rods were placed. Following the surgery, he was able to walk within just a few weeks.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, Senior Consultant, dept of Neurosurgery said, ‘There is this myth that spine surgery leads to paralysis. It has been noticed that success is achieved in more than 95% of such cases and majority recover very fast. Complication due to spine surgery in expert hands is less than 1%. Advanced instrumentation & technology, availability of operating microscope and experienced neurosurgery team at Fortis Noida has helped a lot in spine cases. We also have a special operating table for spine cases and use nerve monitoring and neuro navigation techniques during spine surgery.’
Mr. Gagan Sehgal, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospital, Noida, said, ‘Old age in itself can be a challenge. If it is accompanied with pain in the spine it can be very cumbersome and can be a burden not only for the people who suffer but also for the family members who take care of the patient. Our doctors continuously strive to offer newer and better treatment options to their patients. With this new ray of hope we hope the older generation can become pain and burden free, ready to lead happier lives.’ Fortis Hospital, Noida has vast experience in treating thousands of spinal patients with remarkable success rates. The hospital is equipped with all the gadgets required for successful management of complex spine ailments. Minimally invasive spine surgery can also be done with special instruments causing little collateral injury to body tissue. This helps in early mobilization and recovery of the patient.
Diseases of the spinal column are among the most frequent in modern society and are thought to be caused by ubiquitous degeneration processes, particularly of the intervertebral disks (diskopathy) or of the adjoining vertebral bodies). With increasing age, a large proportion of the population exhibits radiological signs of discopathy or spondylosis, leading to constriction of the spinal canal, usually in the cervical or lumbar region of the spine.
Surveys have shown that both cervical and lumbar operations are becoming more common. Thus the frequency of operations on the cervical spine in India is increasing significantly. This means that cervical spinal stenosis is of central importance for neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. Lifestyle factors, nuclear families and children living away from aged parents put additional stress on the older generation. The easiest ways to prevent these limiting conditions is regular physical exercise, walking, a balanced diet and a healthy life style. Intake of recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D daily and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol are further measures for prevention.