Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine affecting 2-3 per cent of the population. Often, children in their early teenage years are affected by this progressing deformity, which usually requires treatment depending on the severity of the condition. With milder form of scoliosis, treatment includes physiotherapy and bracing while a more significant curve needs a surgical correction. The surgical correction until recently has consisted of the implantation of rods that allows for straightening of the spine, with the drawback that the spine becomes stiff and immobile, preventing further growth, significant participation in sports and bears the risk of further degeneration of the other parts of the spine at a later stage.
“Lately, there has been a paradigm shift in the management of scoliosis, in that surgical procedures have become available allowing for correction of the deformity without requiring the stiffening of the spine,” explains Dr Marc Sinclair, Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital. “The ApiFix System is one of these techniques allowing for a correction of the deformity and at the same time maintaining flexibility of the spine.
“The newest version of the ApiFix is promising as it allows for correction with minimal surgical time and significantly reduced blood loss leading to a very short hospital stay for the patient. The patient can also return to recreational level of sports activities within a couple of months.
“We have performed the first two cases of scoliosis treated with ApiFix in the Middle East outside of Israel last week at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, and both patients have recovered well with a hospital stay of not more than three days and with much better results than the classic way of the implantation of rods.
“Maintaining flexibility of the spine is one aspect of the new implant; however, the implant also allows the spine to continue growing, which was not possible with the more traditional fixation methods. Therefore, the method is also suitable for younger children aged 10-11. The implant has not yet been approved for children younger than 10 years of age although this might well be possible in the future.”
David Jelley, Hospital Director at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, adds, “We are extremely proud of Dr Sinclair and our expert theatre, ward and rehabilitation support team. They are amongst the most experienced sub-specialists in the region leveraging the latest biomedical advancements affording us enhanced visualisation for improved surgical precision leading to better clinical outcomes for our young patients.”