Spine Conditions

Spine Deformity

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways. Everyone's spine is at least a little curved – nobody has a perfectly straight backbone – but an abnormal lateral or sideways curvature of the spine i.e if the angle of the curve measures 10 degrees or more, the patient is said to have scoliosis. Normal Spine, when viewed from the front, forms a straight line. Most of the times it occurs in the adolescent age group and the cause is unknown which is known as Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and the majority of scoliosis occurs in females

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Kyphosis is a condition which leads to forward rounding of the back (When viewed from the side, the spine forms an S-shaped curve). The official medical term for abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine is hyperkyphosis It can affect at any age but is very common among older people especially older females due to osteoporosis.

In Infants: They may be born with an abnormal spine segment (a.k.a Congenital Kyphosis). They may usually look normal at birth but the spine deformity gets manifested as the baby grows.

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Spondylolisthesis most commonly affects the lower back or the lumbar Spine. It's a condition where one vertebra slips over the other which leads to pinching of the spinal nerves causing numbness or pain in the back or legs. It’s quite a painful condition but treatable in many cases. Both nonsurgical and surgical methods may be used. Proper exercise methods and techniques can help in avoiding this condition

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When looked at from the side, our spine has a S shaped curve with a gentle sway (Lordosis) in the low back. A condition where the spine loses its natural low back curve to become flat is known as flat back syndrome. In this condition, The patient leans forward since the spine becomes imbalanced.The Patients having flat back syndrome typically face difficulty in standing upright or complain about back and leg pain. Symptoms usually get worse as the day goes by and the patient feels they are leaning further forward if they stand upright for a longer period. The severity of the symptoms usually depends upon the amount of curvature present and difficulties with standing upright.

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Degenerative Conditions of The Spine

A herniated ( prolapsed ) disc commonly known as slip disk occurs when the outer fibres of the intervertebral disc are injured or harmed. The intervertebral disk is a soft cushion material ( also known as the nucleus pulposus) that ruptures out of its enclosed space i.e its normal boundaries and irritates the spinal nerves causing pain and numbness.

Herniated discs ( slip disk ) are very common in young and middle-aged adults. It rarely occurs in children. The herniation can develop suddenly, or gradually over a period of time, probably weeks or months.

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Lumbar Spinal stenosis is a term used to describe a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is a broad term which refers to the symptoms which may result from the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. This can be caused due to ageing, injury, or degeneration. It occurs when the bone tunnels in the spine that transmits the spinal cord and nerve roots become narrowed and thin at the lower back. The spinal nerve roots typically get compressed which leads to pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs.

Lumbar spinal stenosis may affect one or more anatomical parts, which includes the spinal canal a.k.a lumbar canal stenosis and intervertebral foramen a.k.a lumbar foraminal stenosis.

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Cervical Disc Herniation

The cushion-like structure between the two vertebrae in the neck may sometimes creep out of its boundaries and press on the spinal cord or nerves passing through the cervical spine.

Such patients may have symptoms of radiating pain in one or both upper extremities, weakness or gait imbalance.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment options may range from pain block injection and physiotherapy to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Over recent years, motion-preserving Cervical disc Replacement (CDR) has been providing promising results in patients with this condition

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Cervical and Thoracic Myelopathy

This occurs when a disease or degenerative process in the spine causes compression of the spinal cord leading to neurological symptoms. Such patients complain of unsteadiness while walking, spasticity in lower limbs and sometimes loss of precision in the movement of fingers.

There is no much of a role of non-operative management in compressive myelopathies and treatment is usually in the form of surgical decompression of the spinal cord

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Have you ever experienced pain starting in the buttock and radiating to the back of the thigh and down to the calf or foot? That pain could be sciatica. Lets us understand what is sciatica, its causes and how to get relieve from sciatica pain and what is the best treatment for sciatica in this article.

The sciatic nerve is the thickest nerve in the body. Sciatica is described as the pain developed due to irritation and compression of sciatic nerve. It radiates along the path from your lower back and buttocks down to each leg. The pain can vary from moderate to severe and weakness and numbness can be experienced in these areas.

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Spine Trauma

Spine Fractures and dislocations

With the increasing pace of life, high-velocity accidents have become common. With this, the incidence of spinal injuries has also increased. Spine injuries like fractures and dislocations can lead to catastrophic neurological deficits like quadriplegia and paraplegia and at times can even be life-threatening.

Timely intervention with various modalities of spinal stabilization techniques and aggressive rehabilitation can help these patients to get back to normal life.

Osteoporotic Fractures

Patients with osteoporosis (weakening of bones) may suffer from vertebral fractures with minimal or no trauma at all. These fractures can lead to chronic pain, spinal deformity and decrease the quality of life.

Osteoporotic fractures need a multimodal treatment aimed at increasing the strength in bones and stabilization of the spine.

Minimally invasive treatment options like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty and percutaneous pedicle screw or cement augmented pedicle screw fixation can lead to good pain relief in such patients.

Spine Infections

Tuberculosis of the Spine

Contrary to the popular belief tuberculosis not only affects the lungs but can affect almost any organ system. Bone and joint tuberculosis most often affects the spine. The tubercular bacilli destroy the spinal bones and cause pain, instability, and deformity. The infective material can press over the spinal cord and nerves leading to weakness and pain.

Treatment involves multi-drug antitubercular therapy. At times, these patients may also need surgery to clear the infection, decompress never structures and restore spinal stability

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Pyogenic and fungal infections of the Spine

The spine may be a site of infection in patients with chronic diabetes, chronic steroid use, chronic renal failure, cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy and immunocompromised status like HIV. Patients may present with fever, backache and neuro deficits.

Treatment involves accurate diagnosis with percutaneous biopsy, culture directed antibiotics. At times, these patients may also need surgery to clear the infection, decompress never structures and restore spinal stability Cervical Spine infection with kyphosis deformity

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Spine Tumors

Metastatic and Primary Spine Tumors

With increasing longevity of life, the incidence of various cancers has increased. The spine is one of the most common sites for metastatic (spread of cancer through the bloodstream) cancer disease. Some of the most common cancers spreading to the spine are that of Breast, Prostate, Lung, Kidney, Colon, Cervix and uterus. Sometimes, spine metastasis can even be the first manifestation of such occult cancers.

Primary bone tumors like Myeloma, Osteosarcoma, Ewings Sarcoma, Lymphoma, Hemangioma, etc can also affect the spine.

Patients may present with trivial backache or frank neuro deficits like weakness and loss of bowel and bladder control.

Spine tumors need multidisciplinary management which involves Spine Surgeon, Intervention Radiologists, Chemotherapists, Radiotherapists, Physicians and so on. Primary spine tumors may need to be managed with highly specialized surgeries like EnBlock Resections and Reconstructions. With modern modalities of treatment, patients with Spine tumors can even get back to a normal lifestyle.

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