BUTH performs spinal cord surgery on 65-year-old patient

The Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogun State, has successfully performed a rare surgery of cervical and lumbar spondylosis on a 65 years old man.

The Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogun State, has successfully performed a rare surgery of cervical and lumbar spondylosis on a 65 years old man.

The institution announced this on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement made available to newsmen by Mr Joshua Suleiman, Director Marketing and Communications, Babcock University.

According to the statement, leader of the BUTH medical team, Dr Kenechukwu Onuoha, disclosed that the patient was diagnosed with cervical and lumber spondylosis, a degenerative process in which the bones and joints begin to ‘wear and tear’.

It explained that Onuoha, who heads the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital, says the ailment, which is mostly associated with the elderly, is due to the compression of the spinal cord.

“In the case of the patient in question, his condition was already leading to paralysis and needed urgent surgery because he was already getting weakness in both hands and legs, and unable to neither walk for months nor sign his signature.

“The patient couldn’t stand up, or raise his hands again. It became worse to the extent that most people thought he had a stroke,” the statement disclosed.

It added that the patient had previously presented himself as a stroke patient to his doctor elsewhere before he was advised to see an orthopaedic surgeon in BUTH.

According to the statement, the good news is that the patient could now walk around without assistance, could also conveniently do all those things he was unable to do, and even recently celebrated his birthday.

It explained that sufferers of cervical and lumbar spondylosis usually have pains in the upper limbs, the hands and legs and in more severe cases, weaknesses.

The statement said Onuoha observed that though the disease was common, the surgery was rare, as in this case it involved a 360 degrees cervical decompression of spinal cord.

“What this means in a layman’s term is that we approach his spinal cord from the front and from the back, thus allowing us to address all the problems because the spinal cord was compressed from the front and the back,” Onuoha said.

The statement described the surgery as the first of its kind in the teaching hospital and Ogun State, adding that Babcock University is now in a position to conduct those surgeries for which many Nigerians travel to India, UK and United States

“But I thank God that it is something that can now be done here in Babcock to reverse medical tourism,” it quoted Onuoha further.

On the secret behind the success of the surgery, which lasted for about six hours, the statement revealed that BUTH was blessed to have an intra operative imaging device that could help in identifying the exact problem for the doctors to undertake the surgery.

Onuoha thanked the hospital management and university administration for providing the facilities, equipment and support needed to carry out the rare surgery.

The statement asserted that BUTH was a place where medical tourism could be reversed as far as orthopaedics was concerned.

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