Al-Ahli Hospital performs successful lumbar fusion surgery


Dr. El Fatih Bashir El-Malik

Al-Ahli Hospital has performed a successful surgery for a 50-year old lady presented to neurosurgery clinic with recurrent low back pain and right sciatica for four months.


That was associated with progressive weakness of the right foot or as the medical term ‘Foot Drop’.


It is to be noted that she had undergone lumbar disc removal surgery twice in UK. After clinical examination and radiological investigations, the hospital decided that a third surgical intervention is indicated to remove the pressure from the affected nerve and to restore the lost function of the foot.


However, this time surgery should be in the form of lumbar fusion/decompression. It was supposed to decrease the risk of recurrence and ensure the stability of the lumbar region.


The surgery was done successfully and the function of the right foot was restored completely.


Dr. El Fatih Bashir El-Malik, the consultant of neurosurgery said, “The anatomical structure of the spinal column is composed of large number of discs and other symmetrical joints that overlap on top of each other to allow for the motion in all directions. At the same time, ligaments which surround the joints will maintain a certain degree of stability in all positions.”


He explain that sometimes, this delicate balance between stability and elasticity of the spinal column may be lost leading to what is known as spine instability symptoms, which are usually acute or chronic low back pain with or without sciatica.


The suspected cases undergo physical examination and special investigations for further evaluation, including dynamic X-rays, which study the relationship between the spine elements in different positions that affect daily activities.


In the intractable cases that do not respond to conservative treatment like medications and physiotherapy, surgical intervention is advised.


This includes fixation of the affected levels using special implants that is inserted in the spine with no contact with the nervous system.


Those implants contain special type of bone graft fuses the region further on the long-term for additional stability.


These operations are considered to be complex as they include reconstruction of the treated levels of the spine.


However, patients are usually able to walk the next day after surgery and hospital stay is few days only. This is one of the routinely done operations in the Department of Neurosurgery with great results.


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