‘Disc replacement a better way to cure spinal injury’

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VARANASI: Can the replacement of the damaged disc be a durable cure for a spinal injury?

While recent advancements in spinal trauma surgery are giving encouraging results, the orthopaedic surgeons are now looking for replacement of the original disc that could promise better cure especially for degenerative spine cases.

The replacement of the disc using transthoracic approach is a new technique for spine injury and is being practised globally by spine surgeons, said Dr Saurabh Singh, an assistant professor with the department of orthopaedics, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), on Monday.

“It provides satisfaction to the patients in the form of almost normal recovery of their neurological functions,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that the department of orthopaedics under the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), BHU, witnesses three to four patients per day who turn up with spinal cord injuries.

According to Dr Saurabh Singh, The cases of spinal trauma (caused by spinal injury), tumour and tuberculosis (TB) are presently attracting spinal fixation and surgeries. However, the increasing cases of degenerative spine are posing new challenges for the spine surgeons.

The bumpy and pothole-ridden roads in the region are enough to test the shock absorbing capacity of the original disc that gets damaged due to regular wear and tear.

The replacement of the disc using minimal invasive technique not only guarantees smooth functioning of the spinal cord but also dispels the myth that a person with a spinal injury becomes paralysed for life, added Dr Singh, who has received training in spine surgeries from AIIMS, New Delhi.

Similarly, he also emphasised that the replacement has shown encouraging results with cervical disc (disc around neck region) easily lasting up to five years while lumbar disc in the back promising even more durability with advanced vascular surgery.

Box item: What is disc replacement in spine surgery?

The lumbar disc that acts as a shock absorber and is fused between the backbone gets damaged due to regular wear and tear. The degeneration is triggered in the old age but putting additional pressure on the spinal cord could result in its injury even at younger age.

In this technique, the original (damaged) disc is replaced with an artificial disc that functions similar to the original disc. The technique also involves a minimal invasive vascular surgery that helps easy and durable replacement, enabling the patient to perform normal neurological functions.

Read more: ‘Disc replacement a better way to cure spinal injury’ – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Disc-replacement-a-better-way-to-cure-spinal-injury/articleshow/7255347.cms#ixzz1AkRQ5SLj

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