Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery in Dubai announced that it has set up a specialized Spine Unit under the supervision of experienced surgeons Dr. Sebouh Z. Kassis, Specialist Neurosurgeon, and Dr. Firas M. Husban, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, both of whom specialize in spine surgery. The new unit addresses the diagnosis, intervention, and aftercare of spinal complaints and conditions at the hospital.
The award-winning hospital’s Spine Unit is offering pioneering treatment for conditions such disc diseases, degenerative spine problems, deformities, tumors and the use of endoscopic surgery in the treatment of conditions affecting the spine. The healthcare facility uses the most advanced technologies with minimal Invasive Surgical techniques to treat conditions affecting the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine of patients across all age groups.
Doctors in the Spine Unit provide the most contemporary multidisciplinary treatment in coordination with supporting services such as the physiotherapy team to restore a patient’s normal back and neck functions, helping them get back to their normal active lives as soon as possible. This unit will especially benefit patients who in the past had to consider traveling overseas to receive focused medical treatment for their conditions.
The unit recently treated two young girls: Layla Chamiloris, a 16-year-old patient and Bana Qubain, a 13-year-old patient, both of whom have a history of idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis, a musculoskeletal condition, is a sideways curvature of the spine. This abnormality, in which the spine appears S-shaped or C-shaped, can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from congenital spine deformities and genetic conditions to neuromuscular issues and infections. However, a majority of scoliosis cases have no known cause and are termed as idiopathic scoliosis. The condition usually occurs in children and adolescents after the age of 10.
“Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, on the other hand, occurs in children between the ages of three and ten. The incidence of scoliosis is higher in girls than it is boys. Mild cases of scoliosis don’t hamper life or the regular activities of a person; however, more serious cases can limit functioning, cause pain, hamper breathing and even have a psychological impact on children,” said Dr. Firas M. Husban.
“The management of scoliosis is subject to the severity of the curvature of the spine, along with other factors such as the child’s age and physical condition. Non-surgical treatment, such as bracing and physiotherapy, is always the first choice, with spinal fusion surgery being the final option for patients who don’t respond to bracing. Both the girls had curvatures that were affecting their day-to-day functioning and general quality of life. It was imperative that we helped these young teens get back to normal life as soon as possible,” said Dr. Firas M. Husban.
Both the patients were scrutinized carefully with advanced diagnostic tests and it was determined that corrective spine surgery with posterior spinal fusion was required for both the girls. Bana needed a T4-L3 (targeting thoracic and lumbar vertebrae) posterior fusion, which was performed under general anesthesia and spinal cord monitoring device. A posterior spinal fusion procedure was performed to create spinal balance in both the side and frontal planes of the body, which means the patient’s head would be balanced over their hips when viewed from the front, and when viewed from the side.
“After young Bana was prepped and positioned for surgery, an incision was carefully made over the affected vertebra. The back muscle, which was neither cut nor pierced, was gently separated from the bone at its attachment, exposing the spine. This allowed us to address the compression of nerves; we could also reach the facet joints and mobilize them to induce the flexibility of the spine and ultimately, the correction achieved during the standard open procedure,” said Dr. Husban.
Layla, the older of the two girls, received the same posterior fusion surgery (targeting T3-L3). “Layla’s case was a more complicated and also required an osteotomy (the surgical removal of a part of the bone), facetectomy (where a part of the vertebral joint is removed to alleviate nerve compression) and spine correction to ease the extreme curvature in her spine. These procedures were instrumental in helping Layla correct her posture, get a better spinal alignment, breathe better and get more flexibility in movement. They have changed her life for the better,” added Dr. Husban.
The surgeons said that both Layla and Bana were well on the road to recovery and were healing fast. “It is so gratifying to see that we could help two young girls deal with a condition that had stopped them from playing and participating in the activities that normal teens would indulge in. It’s a huge relief for them and their families and we wish them a speedy recovery,” he further added.
Burjeel’s hospital’s Spine Unit is committed to helping patients such as Layla and Bana suffering from debilitating spinal conditions to others who require immediate treatment for degenerative spinal problems.