In a study by NSCISC, it was observed that there are roughly 54 cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) cases per 1 million of the population i.e. about 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases each year, making it a rare complication. 80% of spinal cord injury cases are found in males. However, the average age of patients has gone from 29 in the 1970s to 42 in 2017. Even though a rare occurrence, spinal cord injury impairs the central structure of your physique and most moderate to severely damaged cases require surgical procedures to fix them.

What is spine surgery?

Our back is made up of both bone and muscles. The central bone that runs through your back from the neck all the way down to your hip is called the Spine. Often due to physical injuries resulting in trauma, the spine is subject to damage which can sometimes cause great discomfort. The spine is made up of various discs that are responsible to give you your upright posture and offering the spinal cord protection. The damage on spines can be treated by either physiotherapy or spinal surgery.

What causes damage to Spine?

Physical injuries or other conditions, like arthritis or osteoporosis, could lead to the compression of the nerves in the spinal cord, between the parts of the spine. This compression gives rise to pain, numbness, etc. In some cases, the spine loses its ability to remain rigid and provide support to the various ligaments, muscles and the posture as a whole. Spinal surgery helps with these issues and is also performed to realign a crooked spine, which could be the result of complications like scoliosis, kyphosis and other conditions that lead to an abnormally shaped spine.

What are the various types of spinal surgery?

Following are some of the common spinal surgery procedures.

1. Laminectomy & Laminotomy

The spinal cord is protected by a roof-like covering known as the Lamina. In many cases of compression of the nerves, the lamina requires to be opened up at a place to operate on the nerves inside. The procedure includes making a small incision to the remove a portion of the lamina, or anything in between, depending upon the patient’s case.

2. Discectomy

Various cases of a hernia may push the discs of the spine, forcing them to bulge outward, affecting the nerves around the area. This can be treated by removing a part of the disc, called a discectomy.

3. Spinal Fusion

A type of surgery used to stabilize the spine, it involves the use of mechanical parts like screws and rods to maintain two or more parts of bone in place as a temporary solution for instability. Over time the bone tissue grows over the material and the whole unit acts like one solid bone, giving the structure the intended rigidity.

4. Disc replacement

In some rare cases, the complications lie with one disc, while the surrounding discs and facet joints are functioning. In such cases, a disc replacement is performed through surgery.

5. Foraminotomy

Sometimes the nerves are compressed due to intervertebral foramina, which are passages carrying nerve bundles from the spinal cord. In these cases, a foraminotomy is used to relieve this pressure. This surgery is usually a minimally invasive procedure.

How do I know if a spinal surgery is absolutely necessary?

In less severe cases, a doctor recommends a combination of medications and physical therapy which are less complicated compared to the surgical alternatives. Minor back aches are even known to resolve themselves within a couple of months.

However, if the patient is immobile and is suffering from extreme pain even on slightest movements, in those cases Spinal Surgery becomes the last effective measure.

How much does a spinal surgery cost?

While the cost you incur on a spinal surgery procedure depends on the type of procedure you go through and the severity of your condition, the average spine surgery cost is around $100,000 or higher.

Spinal surgery in countries like India, Thailand and Turkey would often cost a faction because of factors like affordable cost of equipment, lower taxes, lower consultation fees of the medical staff.

How much is the Spine treatment cost in India?

The spinal surgery cost in India is usually a fraction of what it will cost you in western parts of the world, which is why a large number of people travel to get treated in India. The cost of spine surgery in India starts from USD 4,000 for a laminectomy, while discectomy and spinal fusion surgeries set you back by roughly USD 6500 Being home to some of the best, highly experienced surgeons, India has a number of good hospitals accredited by the JCI (Joint Commission International), and can offer you quality treatment at affordable costs.

How can Medmonks help?

We at Medmonks, offer a range of services for many patients who choose to come to India to seek affordable treatment. From consultancy, second opinion choices, and the best hospitals recommended for you, to an estimate of the costs and everything in between, Medmonks has you covered. Reach out to us to know more.