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Rare spine surgery performed

Department of Neuro and Spine Surgery at the SPS Apollo Hospital claimed to have successfully performed a rare spinal surgery.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2009 01:18 IST
HT Live Correspondent

Department of Neuro and Spine Surgery at the SPS Apollo Hospital claimed to have successfully performed a rare spinal surgery.

A team of doctors led by Dr Deepinder Singh, senior consultant Neuro and Spine Surgeon, operated upon Babul Lal, a construction worker, who fell down from a height of 20 feet.

After the fall, the patient fractured his odontoid process (a small, tooth like, upward projection from the second vertebra of the neck around which the first vertebra rotates). This resulted in separation of skull and spine. “This is a very serious injury and Babul was at a great risk for getting severe spinal cord damage, which could have resulted in complete paralysis below his neck,” said Dr Singh.

He said, “We immediately stabilized the patient spine and conducted a surgery on him, which lasted for six hour. A screw was placed across patient’s topmost vertebrae (atlas) and axis under real time image guidance. There after, the base of his head was fixed to his upper cervical vertebrae using special titanium wires.”

The doctor said, “It is a very difficult and technically demanding surgery and even a small mistake can leave the patient permanently paralyzed below the neck or even lead to the death of patient, because the screw passes closely to the spinal cord and also vertebral artery and even a small error in screw placement will have done irreparable damage to these critical structures. After the operation the patient has made a good recovery and is discharged from hospital.”

According to Dr Deepinder spinal injury patients need extra precaution while shifting the patient from site of accident to the hospital, there should not be any undue movement of spine, to prevent further damage to the cord.

Indian Doctors for Peace & Development

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"We also appeal to be Indian government to intervene to save the innocent Tamil Civilians and to initiate negotiations immediately to end the armed conflict," he said.