This week, consultant spine surgeon, Dr. Hitesh Garg, visited Vaidam enlightening the team about the various spine deformities, infections, tumors and their remedial surgical procedures.
Having an experience of 11 years, Dr. Garg offers spine treatments to both national and international patients at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. According to the doctor, there are about 30 surgical procedures for spine treatments. In his career of more than a decade, Dr. Garg has performed over 2,000 spine fusion surgeries along with 250 deformity correction procedures and 150 lumbar and cervical disc replacements.
He commenced the discussion by describing the basic anatomy and structure of the spine that includes cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccyx and expounded on the common spine problems that patients experience worldwide. Degenerative or arthritic spine, disc herniation, disc bulge, scoliosis, myelopathy, spinal trauma, spondylolisthesis and lumbar canal stenosis are some of the common problems that patients experience on a global scale.
Whether severe or mild, back pain is the common symptom of spine problem. But Dr. Garg said that the aspect that we have to pay attention to is what other symptoms the patients undergo. If there is a degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine, patients would have mild back pain but they may face numbness or weakness in the legs after walking for sometime. Patients will experience difficulty in walking as a whole. In such cases a disc replacement surgery or a spinal fusion is required.
Detailing on the different procedures of spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Garg said that in this procedure the spine can be approached from the front, back and sides and it can be performed through minimally invasive techniques as well. The other name of spinal fusion is the TLIF surgery in which the spine is approached from the back. On the other hand, in its variations namely DLIF, XLIF and OLIF, the spine is approached from the side. “But ALIF is the one in which the spine is approached from the front, that is through the abdomen and is a more expensive procedure than its other counterparts”, said he.
On asking about scoliosis treatment he said, “Scoliosis is spinal deformity that is either idiopathic (genetic) or congenital. The surgery takes about 8 hours the cost of which may vary depending on the severity of the degree of curve. I have once treated an Iraqi patient with a scoliosis of 125 degree spinal curve. The situation was so severe that the surgery had to be performed in two stages”.
Other spinal procedures of microdisectomy, laminectomy, laminoplasty, endoscopic spine surgery, foramentomy, artificial disc replacement (lumbar and cervical spine), kyphoplasty, vertebral body reconstruction and spine tumor removal surgery were also discussed. Artemis Hospital also has the advanced diagnostic facility of dynamic x-ray that observes the movement of the vertebra.