Attributing to manifold reasons, India is home to the largest number of cases of spinal deformities. The major causes include accidents, social violence, nutrition deficiency, post-polio complications and congenital problems. Slipped disc is a common problem, which affects approximately 1% of the population at any given time. It usually affects people between the ages of 30 to 50 years. But these days, it is not bound to any age group or gender.
It is profound in people involved in occupations with frequent bending and lifting heavy objects. However, a slipped disc is not the only cause of backache/leg pain. These aches can often result from diseases like spinal tumor, infection, T.B., cancer spreading to spine, osteoporosis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, fractures, congenital diseases etc.
Neuroscience has seen such vast progress and expansion in the last few years and the kind of treatment and technology is at par with any other country in the world.
India has been a pioneer in generating master neurosurgeons since ages and with the advent of latest techniques and robotic surgery, India is now one of the leading sectors in the medical field. Nowadays, spinal surgery is performed through a tiny (about 1.5 cms) incision in the back with the help of an endoscope. The surgery grants patients the relief to go back home within 12-24 hrs of getting operated. Additionally, such patients can also easily walk and use the toilet the very same day, besides getting fit to resume office in a few days time. Generally the idea of undergoing a spinal surgery often puts people on tenterhooks given the risk of paralysis or fear of getting bed-ridden and depending on others. Such is the mindset of patients that they’d rather suffer the pain than get operated. However with modern surgical techniques on the go, such complications are extremely rare.
Today, many major cities in India have fully equipped neurosurgical centres capable of performing high-end complex procedures. Similar to other medical fields, neurosurgery is also moving towards sub-specialization and various branches have mushroomed over the years which deal with a specific area like Skull Base, Functional and Stereotactic, Neuro-oncology, Spine, Vascular and Neuro interventional, Paediatric, Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Neurotrauma and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery.
With the rapidly growing advancements in the field of neurosciences, endoscopic spinal procedures have completely changed the treatment modalities even for the most complex spinal complications.
While many patients fear the complications of open and traditional surgeries, with recent advancements, spinal surgeries have become minimally invasive and 100% safe with minimal blood loss and quicker recovery. Keyhole surgeries include ‘Micro-endoscopic decompression’ surgery wherein an incision is made around 1.5 cm to 2 cm without damaging the adjacent soft tissues. While the cosmetic appeal is one of the major advantages, there is no trauma to the bone or muscles, keeping the contours well intact and the patient recovery time are also minimal in comparison to an open surgery.
This type of surgery is highly beneficial to minimize the pain and nerve irritation and patients suffering from spondylitis, Disc Herniation, or PIVD (prolapsed disc) can be highly benefited. As the procedure involves preventive and safe measures, it is one of the safe and sound surgeries for people with a variety of spinal ailments irrespective of the age bracket. The materials used along with the screws are flexible and do not cause rigidity of the spine with time thereby maintaining its mobility.
Due to the technological advancements in the field of Neurosurgery, the quality of life post spinal surgery has significantly improved. Therefore, in planned Brain and Spine surgeries, with the help of a comprehensive team, precise outcomes can be expected rather than on leaving the outcomes on chances.
Until a few years ago, one had to travel overseas for the best medical treatment. However, the scene has completely reversed now and we have International Medical Tourism at its highest with patients from other countries visiting India for better healthcare facilities.
(The Author is Founder & Director, Laser Spine Clinic)