A patient suffering from spine-related problems, especially in their lower back region, can avoid undergoing surgery by seeking early treatment and adopting a holistic approach, according to a study by doctors at Lokmanya Hospital.
Dr Shrikrishna Joshi, spokesperson of Lokmanya Hospital, said that at least 35,000 such patients have been treated over a period of 13 years and less than 10 percent of them required surgery. “These patients could have also avoided surgery had they sought early treatment,” he said.
“A common misconception is that surgery is required for the majority of spine-related ailments, especially lower back pain; nothing could be further from the truth. Of the more than 35,000 patients treated over a period of 13 years at the ‘Zero Backache’, a superspecialty clinic of Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi, Pune, less than 10 percent or 3,000 patients required surgery,” Dr Joshi added.
The superspecialty spine care unit was the result of a collaboration in 1998 between Lokmanya Hospital and Ryhov Hospital Jonkoping, Sweden, under the leadership of Dr Narendra Vaidya, chief orthopedic surgeon at Lokmanya Hospital.
“Lower back ache is a common issue that affects people of all age groups and the leading cause of activity limitation. It causes a direct impact on the economy of individuals, families, industries and governments. In a study conducted in the UK, it was found that there is a loss of 100 million man-days per year due to backache problems,” said Dr Vaidya. “Most patients can be treated with a spine surgeon’s consultation, yoga and physiotherapy sessions. Therefore, we had launched ‘Zero Backache’, which uses a holistic approach to eliminate spine-related problems.”
Even though ultra-modern procedures such as laser surgery, microlumbar discectomy, vertebroplasty, cervical and lumbar fusion of vertebra, nucleoplasty, cervical disc replacement are performed at the clinic, Dr Joshi said that a holistic approach to spinal problems helps in achieving excellent results for the majority of patients without them undergoing surgery. This includes incorporating the views of spinal surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, physiotherapists, ayurvedic consultants and yoga instructors for treatment.
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