Nagpur-based neurosurgeon performs rare minimally invasive spine surgery in india

A city-based neurosurgeon, Dr Ajay Kurve at Wockhardt Hospital performed a rare and minimally invasive spine surgery in India on a 32-year-old woman who had fractured her ninth dorsal (back) vertebra following a car accident. It is for the first time in city that screws and rods used to tighten and fix the vertebra in place were sent on the affected spot under the skin (percutaneous) using a special technique instead of the commonly used open cut surgery.

The procedure called as 'balloon kyphoplasty and dilator technique' in medical terms minimizes the post operative infection as well as pain. The patient who though belongs to Nagpur, did the diagnosis and preliminary treatment at Jabalpur. As she was going there, Dr Kurve said, she came with complaints of severe pain on the back due to which she could neither sit, stand nor walk. "Her ninth dorsal vertebra had collapsed completely pressing the nerve causing sever pain. I used rods and screws to tighten her upper and lower (8{+t}{+h} and 11{+t}{+h} vertebra) and dilated the compressed ninth vertebra. But this I did through just a 0.5cm small incision. The rods and screws were pushed to the spot using a guided system like catheter under the skin," he explained.

There are two ways of treating this kind of spine injury. The conventional medical management method is a prolonged one and the patient needs to be on medicines and best rest for over 2-3 months. And even after that the patient will need lifestyle restrictions for another six months. This could also lead to complications like bed sores, urinary tract and chest infections and sometimes even clots in the leg which could lead to heart attack and death. It may also cause severe osteoporosis and chronic back pain which may remain life long.

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The minimally invasive spine surgery in India method involves operating the patient using a big cut and has disadvantages of any kind of surgery. In the minimal invasive method used by Dr Kurve, a balloon-like structure carries the rods and screw to first strengthen the adjacent (before and after) vertebra of the affected one. Then a dilation technique is used to expand the compressed vertebra and correct the deformity by filling bone cement in between. After five days of the surgery, the patient went home walking on her own.

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