Spinal disorders and low back-pain are the most common cause for all bone and joint disorders in the world besides absenteeism from work, according to the World Health Organisation.

Nearly 70 per cent of population suffer from at least one severe episode of back pain in their life. India alone has around 20 lakh people with scoliosis (hunchback or crooked back) due to congenital or developmental factors or infections such as Spinal Tuberculosis.

To create awareness about advances in the field of treating spinal deformities, the Ganga Hospital here has tied up with Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), a United States-based organisation made up of physicians and allied health personnel from 55 countries, to conduct a course featuring 25 live surgeries from May 7 to 10.

The Ganga-SRS International Operative Spine Course has the distinction of being the first major operative course conducted by SRS in Asia, says S. Rajasekaran, Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery, Ganga Hospital. It focuses on latest techniques in management and surgical correction. Around 400 delegates from 18 countries were taking part.

“Most of the patients with spinal deformities are grossly under-treated due to lack of education and awareness, not only among patients but also among the medical field. As a result, there is a phobia to spinal surgeries in India.”

Patients with spinal injuries must consult specialists who would be abreast of latest advances in the field.

Further, it is a misconception that spinal injuries would stunt the growth, adds Dr. Rajasekaran.

Cheung MC Kenneth, President-elect, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), says such courses will help medical practitioners get experience by watching and interacting with top international specialists in the field.

The factors causing spinal deformities are mostly the same all over the world. However, the prevalence of TB pushes up the cases of spinal TB in India, says Dr. Kenneth, who is also Chief of Service and Head, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong,

M. de Kleuver, Professor of spinal surgery, Sint Maartenskliniek, the Netherlands, says most of the spinal deformities can be treated if the patient gets admitted at an early stage.

However, while the risk is still there, advances in technology and medicine have reduced the risk factor of neurological damage from spinal surgeries by ten times in the past decade, provided they are performed by trained surgeons with adequate infrastructure, adds Prof. de Kleuver, who is also Founding member Dutch Spine Surgery Registry.

Source: The Hindu, 10th May 2015