Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogun State, has successfully performed a rare surgery of cervical and lumbar spondylosis on a 65 years old man.
The BUTH medical team lead by Dr Kenechukwu Onuoha, disclosed that the patient was diagnosed with cervical and lumber spondylosis, a degenerative process in which the bones and joints begin to ‘wear and tear’.
Dr Onuoha, who heads the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital, says the ailment, which is mostly associated with the elderly, is due to the compression of the spinal cord.
“In the case of the patient in question, his condition was already leading to paralysis and needed urgent surgery because he was already getting weakness in both hands and legs, and unable to neither walk for months nor sign his signature.
“The patient couldn’t stand up, or raise his hands again. It became worse to the extent that most people thought he had a stroke,” the statement disclosed.
The patient had previously presented himself as a stroke patient to his doctor elsewhere before he was advised to see an orthopaedic surgeon in BUTH.
The good news is that the patient could now walk around without assistance, could also conveniently do all those things he was unable to do, and even recently celebrated his birthday.
Sufferers of cervical and lumbar spondylosis usually have pains in the upper limbs, the hands and legs and in more severe cases, weaknesses.
Onuoha observed that though the disease was common, the surgery was rare, as in this case it involved a 360 degrees cervical decompression of spinal cord.
“What this means in a layman’s term is that we approach his spinal cord from the front and from the back, thus allowing us to address all the problems because the spinal cord was compressed from the front and the back,” Onuoha said.
The surgery is the first of its kind in the teaching hospital and Ogun State, adding that Babcock University is now in a position to conduct those surgeries for which many Nigerians travel to India, UK and U.S.
“But I thank God that it is something that can now be done here in Babcock to reverse medical tourism,” said Dr Onuoha further.
On the secret behind the success of the surgery, which lasted for about six hours, BUTH is blessed to have an intra operative imaging device that could help in identifying the exact problem for the doctors to undertake the surgery.
BUTH is a place where medical tourism could be reversed as far as orthopedics was concerned.