* One spinal fracture occurs every 22 seconds worldwide.
* Spine Surgery despite being safe and effective has 45% patient drop out only due to the ‘fear’ of surgery
October, 2011: Osteoporosis, the disease of bones that is expected to impact over 36 million patients in India by 2013, is the single largest cause of spinal fractures. 20% of women and 10-15% of men aged above 50 suffer from Osteoporosis. Despite 83% of all spinal fractures occurring due to Osteoporosis, the disease significantly lacks the required awareness, diagnosis, preventive and treatment measures.
‘Why bend to Osteoporosis!’
Commemorating World Osteoporosis Week, the All India Association of Spine Surgeons (ASSI) made a call to action by reaching out to general public. Objective of the campaign is to sensitize masses about symptoms and significance of early diagnosis and right treatment of the disease that enormously impairs quality of life of the patients. Millions of patients can avoid severe consequences by adopting preventive measures and timely treatment. This campaign is supported by India Medtronic.
The repercussions of spinal fractures can be severe. Spinal fractures can result in stooped back or change in spinal alignment, acute and chronic debilitating pain, loss of height, immobility, depression, significant performance impairments in physical, functional and psychosocial domains in older patients. It leads to five fold increase in risk of future spinal fractures after the first fracture and 75 fold increase in risk after two or more spinal fractures. Patient experiences reduced pulmonary function, increased dependence on family and even premature death. These fractures are associated with difficulty in many activities of daily living, all leading to a negative impact on quality of life.
Medical and technological advancements have made treatment of spinal fractures very effective with the help of procedures like Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty.
The major Osteoporotic fractures occur in the spine, wrist and the hip bones. Between 25% and 60% of women, aged over 60 years develop spinal compression fractures. There are two interesting features about the Osteoporosis in India - the high incidence among men and the lower age of peak incidence as compared to Western countries. The incidence of Osteoporotic hip fractures is 1 woman: 1 man in India, while in the Western world, it is 3 women: 1 man. And in most Western countries, while the peak incidence of Osteoporosis occurs at about 70-80 years of age, in India it afflicts those at age 50-60.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sunil Khemka, member of ASSI and Chairman, Shri Narayana Hospital, Raipur said, “Spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis are all too often dismissed as simple back pain or arthritis hence and so often do not come to clinical attention, thereby remaining undiagnosed and untreated. Even when referred to a doctor, only about 40% of older women with spinal fractures visible on X-ray are tested for osteoporosis and the figure is even lower in men (less than 20%). It is essential that spinal fractures are identified and treated before further fractures occur. Unless treated, as many as one in five women with a spinal fracture will sustain another within twelve months."
Dr. Sunil Khemka further added, “Data suggests that even amongst patients who are recommended a surgical intervention for spinal fracture, very little percentage actually receive the right treatment. One of the major reasons for patients dropping out of surgical procedure is ‘fear’ of surgery. Unfortunately, despite the marked improvement that medical science has made over the decades, Indian patients suffer from a psycho fear and prefer leading their life in pain rather than getting the right treatment. Procedures like Balloon Kyphoplasty, Vertebroplasty etc. when performed on right patients by trained physician can lead to miraculous improvement in patient’s quality of life.”
Dr. Rajiv Sahu, Consultant, Shri Narayana Hospital, said, “Spinal fractures represent a significant socio-economic burden. It is estimated that around the world, one spinal fracture occurs every 22 seconds. Conservative estimates suggest that India will have 36 million Osteoporotic patients by 2013. Therefore, there will be a marked rise in Osteoporotic fractures and associated costs in decades to come. Hence, prevention of all Osteoporotic fractures, early diagnosis and treatment must be a key public health goal. This will help reduced disease burden along with significant improvement in quality of life of those who suffer from Osteoporotic Spinal fractures.“
VP aims to relieve pain and prevent further collapse of the vertebrae. It is usually performed by interventional radiologists or orthopaedic surgeons using imaging guidance. The collapsed vertebrae is stabilized with the injection of bone cement into the vertebral body. This can reduce pain, and help prevent height loss and spinal kyphosis (stoop) commonly seen as a result of several spinal osteoporotic fractures.
Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI)
ASSI is India's foremost spine society. We are a non-profit scientific organization, comprising of spine surgeons, orthopedic and neurosurgeons from India and its neighboring countries who share a special interest in spine surgery.
ASSI aims to promote the cause of spine surgery in India, by providing continuing medical education for interested surgeons via conferences and workshops, and supporting spine research through academic fellowships and research grants.
ASSI provides a platform for transmission of scientific information and exchange of ideas through the cross section of the country. We strive towards providing quality spine care to patients from all strata of our society, in a need based and locally adapted manner.