Last year, Mulund resident Sameer Kulkarni, 30, started suffering from severe back pain. “Due to the severity of the pain I was not able to stoop or walk. I couldn’t sit for more than 10 minutes,” said Kulkarni, a priest who needs to sit for long periods while performing rituals.|
On Friday, Kulkarni underwent surgery to replace a degraded disc in his spine that was causing the pain. Using the artificial lumbar disc replacement procedure, doctors at Bombay Hospital put in an artificial disc after removing the worn out disc from Kulkarni’s spine.
“The new disc will maintain the mobility of his spine. He was suffering from chronic discogenic back pain that is caused when the disc in the spine wears out,” said Dr Arvind Kulkarni, consultant spine and disc replacement surgeon, Bombay Hospital. Kulkarni had consulted at least four doctors before getting in touch with Dr Kulkarni. “I was on medication and physiotherapy regularly, but that didn’t reduce my pain,” said Kulkarni.
While 90% of patients suffering from backaches recover with the help of medication, bed rest and physiotherapy, a small percentage of patients may need surgery, said Dr Kulkarni, who conducted the first artificial lumbar disc replacement in 2008.
“Disc replacement can be used to treat a very small percentage of patients with back pain. Most patients recover with an exercise programme and modification of postures and activity,” said Dr Samir Dalvie, spine surgeon, Hinduja Hospital.
“Out of the 500 spine surgeries that I conduct every year only one or two are candidates for this procedure.”
”We need to take care of our back and abdominal muscles by doing specific strengthening exercises to avoid chronic back pain in the future,” said Dr Satyen Mehta, spine surgeon, Jaslok Hospital.