Fragile Patient with Broken Spine Regains Painless Movement Within 24 hours

By Dr. Ashish Gupta in Neurosurgery , Neurosciences

Jul 14 , 2017 | 2 min read

A Minimally invasive spine surgery is a boon for patients with spine disorders!

Serious injuries due to accidents are unpredictable but with newer advancements in medical treatments, it is now possible to get cure faster, safer and with the least hospital stay.

A 66-year-old osteoporotic male patient with weak bones presented in Max Hospital after a fall from a tree with the inability to move. On investigations, he was found to have 2 fractures in the backbones, one in lower chest region another in the lower back region.

Dr Ashish GuptaSenior Consultant, Neurosurgery,  Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali said that “Initially he was tried with conservative (MEDICAL) management for his fractures spine in the form of intravenous pain killers and bed rest, but there was no relief in his symptoms. Open surgery at old age could have had its own set of possible complications in form of blood loss and chances of wound complications. He was advised for minimally invasive spine surgery, which has minimal blood loss with almost nil chances of wound complications.”

Explaining the process Dr Gupta said “Once he consented to it, he was operated with putting bone cement in his backbones after restoring height of fractured vertebral bones ,in which collapsed and fractured vertebral bodies were inflated with special balloons and when they were elevated to their normal height ,they were filled with bone cement to strengthen the fractured bone and relieve pain. As the patient had weak bones, because of osteoporosis, his cemented vertebral fracture was further stabilised with pedicle screws and rods above and below the fracture site with few 2-3 mm stab incisions to put vertebral bodies, screws and rods in a very minimal way.”

The surgery lasted for 1.5 hours and the patient was able to move independently next day itself and discharged 

Dr. Ashish Gupta asserts “It’s a new beginning in spine surgery. Technological advances have made strides in the spinal fracture treatment by using a minimally invasive surgical technique. Open spine surgery might be the best surgical approach for specific conditions. The minimally invasive approach is an appropriate option for you, with huge benefits over traditional surgery. Smaller incision and scar, decreased blood loss, less length of stay in the hospital, lesser pain medication. “In a traditional, open spine surgery, an incision is made and muscles are pulled or retracted to the side to get a clear view of the spine. The surgeon then accesses and removes diseased and damaged bone or intervertebral discs. With minimally invasive spine surgery, surgeons can achieve the same operative goals as an open procedure, but in a less invasive way. Minimally invasive surgery can be percutaneous (through the skin) or mini-open (operating through a small incision)” he explained.

Risks Associated with the Procedure

Talking about Potential risks associated with minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Anaesthesia complications
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reactions
  • Adverse effects due to undiagnosed medical problems, such as silent heart disease
  • Injury to nerves and blood vessels can also occur.

In addition, during minimally invasive spine surgery, the surgeon may have to convert to an open surgery if circumstances require.”

Read about - Post fracture/trauma diet plan for healing bone.