Dubai: Father of 5 with slipped disc is pain-free after spine surgery

The prevalent condition occurs due to age, injury or poor posture, where a disc typically presses on a nerve root, causing pain and other symptoms


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Published: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 3:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 3:26 PM

A 51-year-old father of five, whose active lifestyle was disrupted with arm and neck pain, now feels like he’s “back to life”, after a minimally invasive spine surgery at Fakeeh University Hospital’s Surgical Institute.

For over two years, Greek national Christos Tsikiloudis, a UAE resident, experienced pain in his left arm and neck after simple movements. Considering it to be a normal neck pain, he consulted a neurologist who advised physiotherapy and pain medication. Christos; however, did not get any relief.

He then consulted Dr Tommaso Tufo, lead consultant neurosurgeon – brain and spine at Fakeeh University Hospital.

An MRI of his cervical spine revealed two prolapsed discs with osteophytes – a piece of bone touching a nerve in the spine, causing nerve compression. A prolapsed disc, commonly called a ‘slipped disc’, is a prevalent condition caused due to age, injury or poor posture. In this condition, a disc usually presses on a nerve root, causing pain and other symptoms.

“Although a slipped disc can develop anywhere along the spine, it most commonly develops in the lower back. Depending on the position of the slipped disc, it can cause pain, discomfort, numbness, or weakness in the arm or leg. In this case, the two prolapsed discs were completely non-functional and were the primary cause of pain and other troublesome symptoms. This surgery allowed for [the] restoration of normal functioning of the cervical spine and decompression of the nerve roots,” said Dr Tommaso.

Besides being an active and involved father, Christos is also a sports enthusiast. However, the pain was so significant that it affected his personal and professional life, and everything he loved to do.

After a complete diagnosis, a surgical plan was charted out by Dr Tommaso. Cervical anterior decompression, a three-hour surgery, was performed to remove and replace the prolapsed discs with a new generation of prosthesis discs. This is a minimally invasive surgery, involving a small incision at the front side of the neck near the throat. In the same surgery, the bone compressing the nerve was also removed to relieve pressure.

“My experience at the hospital, from the moment I was admitted, has been fabulous. For the first time in many years, I don't feel any pain in my arm or neck. For such a difficult and complicated surgery, you need to trust only the best in Dubai, and I believe that my choice of hospital and Dr Tommaso was the absolute best,” said Christos.

He received immediate relief after the surgery. Christos was mobilised one day after the procedure, without a collar, despite undergoing a major neck surgery. He drove to work four days after and was advised to refrain from intense sports/strenuous physical activities three months later.

“I traveled to Greece with my family five weeks after the surgery for Christmas and New Year holidays. I now look forward to the next three months for complete healing of the vertebrae bones to start the vigorous-intensity activities that I love,” added Christos.

Well-equipped to manage complex surgical undertakings, FUH’s Surgical Institute offers a multidisciplinary approach to manage complex cases like these.


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