By Jepkemei Kibet
Cyril Serem was involved in a road crash a few weeks ago that left him with persistent back pains. He decided to seek medical attention and an MRI scan of the spine which showed that he had fractures in two vertebrae.
“I was told that the MRI scan showed fractures of the spine and that miraculously I was still walking ,” said Mr. Serem.
According to Dr. Abdul Wahid Kasmani, a consultant Neurosurgeon in Eldoret, who operated on Cyril at Reale Hospital in Uasin Gishu County, the patient had a collapse and a burst fracture that had made his spinal column unstable.
The fact that the patient had no neurological compromise and was carrying out his daily chores although with pain had the Neurosurgeon recommend to have the problem corrected through Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS). “The benefits of MISS include less tissue injury, less chances of infection, less pain, faster recovery, short hospital stay and cost effectiveness”, Dr. Kasmani indicated.
Two procedures that lasted four hours were performed. These included stabilization of the spine using Percuteaneous screws where small incisions are made to pass the screws to hold the vertebrae in position, and Ballon Kyphoplasty that involves restoration of the height of the vertebra. Dr. Kasmani is among the first to perform these techniques in Kenya. However, there are indications for minimally invasive spine surgery.
“Osteoporotic fractures and pathologic fractures can be well treated with this technique. Patients with complete spinal cord injury who need stabilization of the spine for rehabilitation purposes are also good candidates for these procedures,” he added.
After the surgery, Mr. Serem left theatre at around 3 AM and by 11 AM, he was walking with marked reduction in the pain that he had before surgery. He was discharged after two days.
“I am feeling okay. I can walk around with no more pain now,” said Mr. Serem when Health Business followed up on him after he was discharged. Dr. Kasmani says that Kenyans need to be made aware that specialized surgeries are available in Kenya.
“We are practicing good medicine in Kenya and are having good outcomes,” he added.
The perks of getting treatment in your home country include cost effectiveness, unlimited access to your doctor for follow – ups, and proximity to close relatives and friends during the treatment.
In order to further make these services readily available, Dr. Kasmani urges the medical companies to reduce the cost of the implants and NHIF to assist the patients who require such specialized surgeries.