We’re priviledged to be able to care for the people of Nepal. Below are some of the individuals that we, with your help, have treated through our Medical Missions. They were kind enough to share their stories.
Patients gathered outside and in the hallways of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Degenerative Spinal Diseases
Degenerative spinal diseases can cause nerve dysfunction and increasing pain as they progress. This patient’s collapsed disc was restored by the insertion of an artificial disc with complete relief of his pain, numbness and weakness.
Traumatic Neck Injury
This patient suffered from a traumatic neck injury and was stabilized with a plate and screw system to allow a return to function.
Potts Spine Disease
This is a patient with tuberculosis of the spine or Potts spine disease. She was bedridden and unable to walk for nine months while being treated with anti-tuberculosis drugs. At TUTH she was found to have severe spinal cord compression and severe spinal deformity due to Potts disease. She underwent decompression and instrumented fusion and within one week post-op, she was able to walk again for the first time in nine months.
Highlights from Nepal Spine Week 2021
One of our main goals for the Nepal Spine Week 2021 was to teach minimally invasive surgical techniques to the neurosurgeons at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH). With kind and generous support of Dr. Wohns and Medtronic, Inc, the team was able to perform these surgeries with some of the latest equipment donated to TUTH. This equipment will allow the neurosurgeons to continue their mission of providing the highest quality spine surgical techniques.
Below is a summary of one of the patients operated on during Nepal Spine Week 2021. The patient is a 45 year old dermatology nurse who had a prior laminectomy at TUTH for symptoms of spinal stenosis. She did very well, but then developed disabling low back pain which kept her from working, standing, and walking without severe back pain. Her CT and MRI scans showed she developed a malalignment of her spine, called kyphosis and spondylolisthesis, at the previously operated level.
The team planned a minimally invasive fusion of her L4-5 segment, using small incisions, tubular retractors, microscopic technique, and placing bone screws and other instrumentation through the small portal incisions. The surgery was led by Dr. Rick Chua.
The patient and her family met the team and Dr. Rick Chua prior to the surgery.
The surgery was performed successfully, and the xrays after surgery showed successful improvement in the alignment of L4 and L5 with pedicle screws, rods, and a spacer filled with bone graft to achieve a fusion. She was walking the following morning and discharged home on the second day. Here are her immediate postop xrays.
The surgery was one of the first minimally invasive lumbar fusions ever performed in Nepal.
She has returned to work, and her xrays show appropriate healing and ongoing fusion. She has enjoyed complete relief of her back pain.
The Nepal Spine Foundation works year round to provide educational opportunities and equipment to local surgeons, so they can get the best outcomes for their patients.