Dr. Krishnakumar R., Assistant Professor in the Spine Division of the Department of Orthopaedics at the Amrita School of Medicine was recently awarded an International Spine Fellowship from the international Scoliosis Research Society dedicated to the education, research and treatment of spinal deformities.
The fellowship is usually conferred on specialist doctors, enabling them to visit major spinal deformity centres around the world and enhance their knowledge. Dr. Krishnakumar travelled to the Spinal Deformity Institute at Washington University, USA, last month on the fellowship.
As an international Centre of Excellence in Spine Surgery, the Spinal Deformity Institute is home to many experts, including Dr. Lawrence G. Lenke, Chief of Spinal Surgery and Director. Dr. Krishnakumar completed his fellowship with Dr. Lenke.
“Dr. Lenke trained me in complex spinal deformity corrective surgeries, which included spinal osteotomies and vertebral column resection to reconstruct the normal spinal anatomy and balance. We had lots of discussions about managing difficult spinal conditions. I also saw mobile halo traction units for pre-operative correction of spine deformity. Dr Lenke invited me to participate in his research activities,” Dr. Krishnakumar shared.During his visit, Dr. Krishnakumar received an invitation to speak at Washington University, wherein he showcased the Amrita technique of iliolumbar fixation. This technique helps fix the spine to the pelvis in complicated scenarios such as fracture dislocations, failed previous spine surgeries, infections and after tumour resections.
Originally described by Dr. K.V. Menon and Dr. Renjitkumar J., Professors in the Department of Orthopaedics at Amrita, a paper about the technique was published in the Journal of Spinal Disorders (J Spinal Disord Tech. 2008
Oct;21(7):493-9. Ilio-lumbar fixation–the Amrita technique. Acharya NK, Bijukachhe B, Kumar RJ, Menon VK).
After the successful completion of his fellowship at Washington University, Dr. Krishnakumar travelled to Medical Centers at Loyola University and Rush University in Chicago. Here he had the opportunity to learn novel techniques of spine
surgery from renowned spine surgeons, Dr. Alpesh Patel and Dr. Kern Singh respectively. Both doctors are the members of the governing board of directors of Indo American Spine Alliance, IASA.
Dr. Krishnakumar shared with us about his training with the two doctors.
“Dr. Patel scheduled a direct lateral inter-body fusion for an adjacent level degeneration. He explained all the steps of the procedure right from patient positioning to insertion of the cage. It was a great learning experience for me.”
“With Dr. Singh, I witnessed complex spine surgeries like ALIF, MIS bilateral foraminotomies and anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or ACDF. Dr Singh was an amazing surgeon to watch in action.”
Dr. Krishnakumar also presented at the 47th Annual Conference of Scoliosis Research Society in Chicago. His paper on Dystrophic Scoliosis in Neurofibromatosis was the only paper accepted from India for oral presentation.
In 2011, Dr. Krishnakumar received traveling fellowships from a Danish Spine Surgery Group as well as the International Group for Advancement in Spinal Sciences. At Amrita, Dr. Krishnakumar practices extensively in the areas of deformity correction such as scoliosis surgery, spinal tumor surgery, degenerative spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery for disc prolapse and spinal fusion.
September 25, 2012
School of Medicine, Kochi