First-of-its-kind surgery in Dubai helps girl with curved spine stand straight

Estimated read time 6 min read

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Consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis.” byline=”staff reporter” caption=”Salma Naser Nawayseh was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.” credits=”SUPPLIED”]

First-of-its-kind surgery in Dubai helps girl with curved spine stand straight

A first-of-its kind surgery at a hospital in Dubai has helped a 13-year-old Jordanian girl with a curved spine stand straight.

Doctors at Burjeel Hospital performed the Gulf’s first Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) surgery on Salma Naser Nawayseh, who was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

The condition causes an abnormal curve of the spine. If left untreated, scoliosis can lead to pain, increased deformity and potential heart and lung problems.

In Nawayseh case, her parents first noticed the curve in her spine in April 2022. Corrective surgery was needed since she had a large curve in her spine.

Dr. Firas M. Husban, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Burjeel Hospital, said the Grade 9 student had a 65-degree curve in her spine. This caused her to have lower back hump, unlevelled pelvis, a shorter trunk and back pain.

“She required surgery to correct the deformity,” said Dr. Husban, who informed the girl’s parents of a new minimally invasive treatment for scoliosis.

Traditionally, scoliosis is corrected using spinal fusion surgery or when two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one structure using screws and rods.

A new treatment, VBT, allows fusionless spine correction that enables the patient to move and grow naturally, while experiencing fewer complications and faster healing.

Explaining the procedure, Dr. Husban said, “As opposed to spinal surgeries that involve cutting into the back and manipulating the spinal cord and nerve roots, in this surgery, we make discreet incisions in the abdomen through the endoscope. A flexible cord, called the tether, is attached to the spine on the outside of the curve through bone screws. Tension is applied to the tether to straighten the spine.

“The tether puts pressure on the outside, allowing the inside of the spinal curve to grow. Because VBT is minimally invasive, there is little trauma to the delicate tissues of your back. As a result, there is less blood loss, less postoperative pain and speedier recovery time compared to the spinal fusion surgery,” he added.

Dr. Husban said that the girl’s spinal curve improved right after the surgery and that she is recovering well and is expected to go back to school after two weeks.

The doctor is confident that Nawayseh will be able to return to full activity and even start playing sports after four weeks.

The girl’s parents expressed their happiness at the successful surgery.

“She started walking the second day after surgery. We are happy that our daughter was eligible for this surgery. We look forward to our daughter holding the racket again and resuming tennis,” Nawyseh’s mother said.

While VBT is performed in US, France and Germany, this is the first time that the surgery was performed in the UAE, as well as the GCC and North Africa. ICA/Expat Media


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