The spine is the most important part of the skeletal structure. Without it the human being would not be able to remain perpendicular, walk and move, bend or twist the body’s form. The spine has evolved into an ‘S’ shape to be the perfect form of support and mobility and its rugged form and durability is often taken for granted.
Equally important to the support and mobility the spine offers, is the protection it gives to the spinal cord, a column of nerves that connects the entire body to the brain which controls all the physical movements and the function of the body’s organs. The spinal cord needs the protection that the spine offers due it being the body’s actual lifeline.
Anatomy of the Spine
The spine consists of 24 small bones, referred to as vertebra. These vertebrae are stacked on top of each other to create the spinal column. Each of the vertebra are connected by ligaments, and tendons connect muscles to each of them. To stop the vertebrae rubbing and impacting against each other they are cushioned by a disc of fibrous cartilage known as annulus fibrosus.
This cartilage surrounds a soft gelatinous inner core, referred to as the nucleus pulposus. Together, the outer cartilage and inner core act as the spine’s shock absorber. At the center of each vertebra is hole, being stacked together this creates a hollow conduit, through which passes the spinal cord.
Although being a single column, the spine is viewed in three sections. The cervical spine is the upper section and consists of 7 vertebrae. The center section is known as the thoracic spine made up of 12 vertebrae. The lower section is the lumbar spine, usually consisting of 5 vertebrae, although there are some examples of people with 6 vertebrae in the lumbar spine.
Below the lumbar spine there is a fused section of vertebrae known as the sacrum. At the time of birth, the sacrum is similar to the rest of the spine, in that it is made up of individual vertebra. During development as a youngster these vertebra fuse together to make a single piece of bone at the bottom of the spine in the center of the pelvis.
Every day, across the world, thousands of medical procedures are carried out on patient’s spinal problems. The success of these procedures, or the lack of it, is dependent on several factors, from the nature of the complaint, the proficiency of the practitioners to the equipment at their disposal. There are those that see a successful treatment of the spine as something of a lottery. This may not be entirely true, but it is true that with an expert spinal revision, post-treatment, many problems can be further relieved and even corrected.
Revision Spine Center
Knowing the complexities of the spine, its vulnerabilities and the difficulties in corrective treatment led Samitivej Hospital to set up its dedicated Spinal Revision Center. It is unequaled knowledge and expertise that head up this unique facility which assesses spinal issues, reviews prior treatments, then recommend and undertake further procedures where appropriate.
The center is a modern medical facility employing cutting edge technology, tried and tested and ground breaking procedures. The success of the Revision Spine Centers is now envied and unrivaled within the medical profession having treated thousands of patients from across the world.
Review and Treatment
Surgery for spinal issues have become very common, in the United States half a million people undergo surgery on the lumber region of the spine alone. Globally, successful first surgical procedures on the spine are around 50% of the total. For those that are unfortunate to find that their surgery is less than a success, hope is not lost. For these people further success can be sought at the Revision Spine Center.
Having continued difficulties and pain following back surgery is referred to as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome” (FBSS). Mobility problems and chronic pain can continue long after a surgical procedure on the spine. For these people, revision is essential.
Firstly, assessment of a patient’s condition is essential. This assessment is after a patient has undergone a failed spinal procedure, and following any further procedure that may be deemed necessary. Assessments at the revision center are undertaken by highly qualified senior physicians using the most up to date techniques.
Specialist teams are made up of neurosurgeons, rehabilitation specialists, cosmetic enhancement surgeons and fully trained and experienced physical therapists. These specialist teams of professionals discuss each case in depth before deciding on any appropriate procedure.
The treatment plans include follow up procedures, treatment and therapy. Follow up treatment includes expert advice on how each patient should go about their everyday lives whilst adhering to their personalized treatment program. With no two patient’s spinal issues being exactly the same, the personalization of every post-surgery treatment plan is essential.
Having such highly trained specialist teams is reassuring for patients, but for them to carry out precision assessment and successful surgery they require the very equipment. All surgical suites are equipped with 2-D and 3-D C-ARM imaging devices, MRI machines, bone and spinal disease diagnostics and bone density machines.
Individually tailored support equipment specialists compliment the professional teams. These skilled craftsmen design and make specialist devices that help support the limbs, pre and post-surgery. These round-the-clock services also include custom shoemaking which allows a patient to regain normal levels of mobility much quicker as part of their post-operative therapy.
The level of success that patients enjoy at the Revision Spine Center is as much about the things they don’t experience as it about what they do experience. The professional teams of physicians are backed up by a myriad of support professionals ensuring every patient’s stay is stress free and comfortable.
There is also Samitivej’s unique “Real Clean Means” mantra. The Revision Spine Center adheres strictly to the hospitals hygiene and sterility procedures. All areas and equipment are cleaned and sterilized to the most exacting standards, which are second to none. Strict procedural standards are regimentally followed by highly trained cleansing teams minimalizing the risk of any contamination or infection.
Samitivej Hospital now has several Revision Spine Centers across the country serving the local population and expats in every increasing numbers. The Joint Commission International (JCI) have awarded the Revision Spine Center the Clinical Care Program Certification (CCPC). Such accreditations are not given out easily and stand as testament to the standards of clinical care they provide and the success of their treatment programs.