Dubai: 75-yr-old who can't sit, stand now back on her feet after 6hr spine surgery

The Jordanian woman suffered from severe spinal fractures for years, with doctors saying there was no permanent solution to her pain — but specialists in Dubai gave her hope


SM Ayaz Zakir

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 10:43 AM

Last updated: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 9:16 AM

For years, Jordanian woman MK couldn't move: She couldn't lift her head, sit, or stand upright. Worse, she lost the confidence to step outside her home.

"I would frequently remain home and miss out on family gatherings," said the 75-year-old who suffered from a severe spinal deformity. "My lower back suffered many spinal fractures, which caused me to lean forward from the core."

MK's spine was curved at 85 degrees and had multiple fractures caused by osteoporosis. This affected her ability to do even the most basic movements, from "looking up to climbing stairs, among other things". She had seen several doctors over the years but was told "there was no permanent remedy".

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

But specialists at Medcare Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital (MOSH) gave her hope. She recently underwent a complex but minimally invasive surgery, allowing her to regain her mobility.

Dr Thaer Darwish, consultant neuro and spine surgeon at MOSH, said MK's kyphosis — or "the forward rounding of the upper back" — wasn't an uncommon condition among the elderly but her case was particularly severe.

"Her kyphosis affected her mid to lower back, caused by spinal fractures, resulting in her hunching forward from her core rather than her shoulders. This not only led to severe pain but also hindered her daily activities and quality of life,” said Dr Thaer.

The curve and fractures in her spine were brought about by osteoporosis, which is one of the most common bone diseases that affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 worldwide. Affecting bone density, osteoporosis leads to deformities and life-threatening bone fractures.

6-hour surgery

Initially offered a cement augmentation treatment by other healthcare providers, the patient's condition demanded a more advanced approach. Recognising the challenges posed by her severe osteoporosis and susceptibility to fractures, the MOSH medical team decided to employ a novel and complex surgical technique involving a keyhole incision, deviating from traditional methods.

This intricate procedure aimed to rectify the spine, and correct the deformity, resulted in a 39-degree reversal of the kyphosis. In addition, cement augmentation was utilised to address her fractures and safeguard against further complications stemming from osteoporosis.

The extensive six-hour surgery was carried out without complications despite the patient's age, said Dr Darwish.

The advanced system at the hospital allowed the surgeons to monitor the spinal cord and nerve status in real time during the procedure, thereby preventing nerve damage.

“After years of enduring pain and missing out on special moments with my family, I can now appreciate the simple pleasures of life. To me, this is living life to the fullest. Those living with chronic pain can understand what I mean,” said MK.


More news from Lifestyle