January 22, 2010
School of Medicine, Kochi
At the recently concluded State Orthopaedics Conference at Palakkad, Dr. Ranjith Unnikrishnan of Amrita was awarded the Prof. T. K. Surendran memorial gold medal for his paper titled Anterior Vs Posterior Surgery in Thoracolumbar and Lumbar Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Prospective Randomized Study.
Scoliosis is a medical condition wherein the spine, instead of being straight, is curved. Idiopathic scoliosis refers to the condition when the cause is obscure or unknown. Idiopathic scoliosis affects millions of people all over the world. Teenagers are at most risk, as the condition manifests usually during the adolescence growth spurt.
“The traditional approach in operative management of lumbar and thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic curves has been anterior surgery …” stated the paper abstract. “… Posterior segmental pedicle screw instrumentation, with its more powerful corrective force could offer significant advantages.”
Dr. Ranjith Unnikrishnan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the Amrita School of Medicine was joined by his colleagues, Dr. Renjitkumar J. and Dr. K. V. Menon from the Spine Division, in conducting the study. The Amrita team evaluated the progress of 20 patients with adolescent idiopathic thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis, who had surgery from December 2002 on.
Ten patients had posterior surgery; the other ten had anterior surgery. The progress of all patients was followed through for a minimum of 2-years. Evaluation included clinical and radiographic examinations using standing posteroanterior and lateral radiographs of the spine. These measurements were taken before and after surgery.
Comparisons were made between preoperative and postoperative readings within the same groups. Duration of surgery was significantly less in the posterior group (189 vs. 272 minutes). Length of stay in the hospital was also correspondingly smaller in the posterior group (6.2 days vs. 8 days). “Our hypothesis is that posterior segmental pedicle screw instrumentation is as safe and effective as anterior instrumentation … Shorter operating room time and hospital stay are the potential benefits of posterior surgery,” further explained the paper abstract.
Amrita presented five other papers at the conference. This annual conference of the Kerala Orthopaedic Association also had two Amrita posters. In addition, Amrita’s Dr. Jiss Joseph Panakkal, Sr. Resident in Orthopaedics was a member of the winning team that won the first prize in the Kerala Ortho quiz conducted at the same conference. We congratulate all the participants and the winners.