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Doctor uses new technique to repair patient’s damaged vertebra

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti doctor performed a rare procedure on an elderly patient who suffered a compound fracture in the third lumbar vertebra and a compressed fracture in the second vertebra. Dr Tareq Sinan, consultant in intervention radiology and a professor at Kuwait University’s College of Medicine, had ordered the patient to be transferred to a private hospital a week after doctors gave up on finding a remedy for his case. Once he reached the hospital, Dr Sinan performed the procedure, which is the first of its kind in Kuwait, and in which he treated the fractures using bone cement.

In order to keep the cement from leaking, Dr Sinan placed little amounts of cement inside a balloon, then inflated the balloon to create a protective wall of cement using the ‘egg shell technique.’ After that, he injected the cement inside the wall, which eventually helped repair the vertebra’s without causing any leakage.

The patient was able to walk two hours after the operation, and pain was significantly reduced. He was also able to walk under his own power within 24 hours after being bed-ridden for a week. The technique of repairing vertebrae using cement without surgery is new in Kuwait. The procedure is done without surgical intervention, is fast and safe, and does not require the patient to stay in hospital for long.

By Abdullatif Al-Sharaa

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