Glasgow is expected to scrap plans to use a spine correction for most of its patients in the coming months, with some specialists calling the procedure an unnecessary and risky practice.
The surgery would be performed on a case-by-case basis, said Dr. John McLean, a senior orthopedic surgeon at the University of Glasgow.
“There are people with serious spinal injuries who would not have received the surgery if we were to proceed,” McLean said.
“We have to look at the impact on the other patients.
We have to consider that we are doing this to our patients when we know we are not going to be able to do it.”
McLean said the operation could save about $5,000 to $10,000 in the long run, and said it would not increase the likelihood of the patient getting a second operation.
The surgery, known as spinal stabilization, is performed to stabilize spinal cords in patients with severe or chronic back pain.
The procedure is widely used in the United States.
McLean noted the Glasgow Clinic has been able to provide services for decades, including surgery for spinal cord injuries in cases of spondylosis and spinal cord compression in cases where the spine was damaged in a car crash.
He said a spinal stabilization procedure would require patients to be placed in a chair with a ventilator and then have their spine stabilized.
Once stabilized, patients would be given intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.
McLaren said the surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis.
Many orthopedists would not be comfortable performing the procedure, he said, and there was no guarantee the procedure would work for every patient.
Glasgow Clinic doctors and nurses would have to perform the surgery at least four times a year for the next few years, McLean added.
More than 4,000 patients have been admitted to the hospital with spinal injuries since 2009, he added.
The hospital, which has a population of more than 40,000, is one of a handful of hospitals that perform spinal stabilization surgeries, which McLean described as a relatively inexpensive and safe alternative to traditional surgery.
The procedure is not used widely in the U.S. but has been recommended by doctors and is not routinely performed by hospitals outside the U, he noted.
A total of more that 100,000 spinal surgeries are performed in the world each year, according to the American College of Radiology.
The University of Georgia and a hospital in Pennsylvania both have spinal stabilization operations.
For many years, Glasgow Clinic did not offer spinal stabilization surgery, Mclean said.
It was introduced in 1991 as a possible alternative to spinal surgery for patients with chronic spinal injuries.
While the procedure has been successful in preventing serious complications and the use of drugs and devices to stabilize the spine, McGlasons surgeons have found that it is not safe or effective.
The surgeon said the decision to stop spinal stabilization was made in part because the hospital did not have the equipment needed to perform this surgery.
If Glasgow Clinic could not perform this procedure, there was a possibility that the surgery would not continue, McKean said.
He said the hospital had an operating room that could accommodate the surgery, but it was too big and was not fully equipped to perform it.
In addition, McMcLean suggested the surgery might not be needed in cases involving spondyskyneema, a condition in which the spinal cord is compressed or damaged by a spinal cord injury.
Spinal stabilization surgery was recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for patients who have suffered spinal injuries in car crashes, falls or other types of injuries.
McGlas’ surgery would require a patient to lie in a supine position and receive a spinal massage from an experienced surgeon, McShane said.
A small tube attached to a syringe would be inserted into the patient’s spine and connected to a ventilated syringe that would be pumped into the spine.
An electrical current would run through the tube, which would then be pumped through a small tube to a chest tube.
Patients would then have to breathe through the chest tube, McQuane said, which is also used to help stabilize the spinal cords of patients with back problems.
After the procedure is complete, the patient would lie in an upright position, with the chest tubes connected to an artificial ventilators system, and the spinal tubes would be connected to the artificial ventilated system again.
There would be no monitoring, no pressure on the neck or the spine to prevent swelling or any other complications, McReynolds said.
The first case of spinal stabilization would take place in the fall of 2019, and McShanes said there was an immediate and positive response from the patients.
Some of the patients have responded well, McDea said.
“They have not been able do anything other than be happy,” he said.