We all take our posture and gait for granted, but we didn’t come by our upright stance by pure chance. Around 7 million years ago, Sahelanthropus, a creature thought to be the earliest origins of humankind, went through an evolutionary transition. It evolved from being a tree climbing quadruped to a perpendicular standing biped.
Fundamental to this evolution was the spine. It rotated through 90 degrees and adopted an ’S’ shaped form. This evolved shaping of the spine was necessary to give early humans space around the birth canal where the spine curves inwards, this curvature is known as lordosis. Through these changes the spine became the primary load bearing element for the entire body. As such, it is prone to many aches, pains as well as being vital to mobility.
Knowing the Spine
The spine can be looked at as having five sections. From the head down, they are the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumber spine, sacrum and coccyx. The three upper sections of the spine consist of multiple vertebra each of which is cushioned with a spinal disc. In addition to the vertebra and discs, there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal.
Furthermore, existing as part of the central nervous system, there is the spinal cord. This begins at the medulla oblongata, the base of the brain. The cord is about 18 inches long and finishes in the lower back atintervertebral disc between the first and second lumbar vertebrae. Towards it’s end it tapers to form a cone shape, known as the conusmedullaris which consists of sacral spinal cord segments.
The spine is, for the most part, a strong structure that takes a lot of punishment during our lives. But it is also vulnerable to injury and the spinal cord is one of the most fragile parts of the body. All this makes for a very complex structure which requires multiple skills from within the medical profession. This is fully understood at Samitivej Hospital, and as such, has their own dedicated Spine and Joint Center.
The Spine and Joint Center utilizes highly skilled physicians that include rheumatologists and neurologists, orthopedic and neurosurgeons, chiropractors, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, physical therapists and, pain management physicians. These specialists are backed up by a highly trained support team of nursing and aftercare staff.
Spinal and Joint Disorders
At the Samitivej Hospital’s Spine and Joint Center they are well appointed to treat all spinal conditions, both degenerative and non-degenerative. Some of the degenerative conditions they treat include spinal stenosis and spondylosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and arthritis.
The spine and Joint Center also has an enviable reputation in treating other disorders which include common chronic neck and back pain, Scheuermann’s kyphosis, scoliosis and other spinal deformities. Fractures, tumors and cancers are treated with remarkable success, as is spondylolisthesis and ankylosing spondylitis. The skilled team of physicians is also well versed in treating basilar invagination, basilar impression, cranial settling and osteoporosis.
Spinal and Joint Disorders Common Causes
The causes of spinal disorders are as many and varied as the disorders themselves. Although knowing the cause of a problem can be extremely useful to the treating physicians,it is entirely possible that an exact cause may never be pinpointed. However, At Samitivej Hospital’s Spine and Joint Center they recognize that there are numerous common causes of spine and joint problems.
Accidents, falls and other physical injuries, such as those received through participating in sports, to the spine are common place. Congenital and inherited disorders are frequently treated at the Spinal and Joint Center along with issues due to inflammation and infection. It should also not be forgotten that degenerative wear and tear that comes with aging is a major contributor to the overall number of patients with spinal and joint issues.
Samitivej’s Spine and Joint Center Assessment and diagnosis
Patients with spinal or joint problems will be assessed by a senior member of the center’s team. Only then can an individual treatment plan be drawn up to suit the patient’s condition. Should surgery be required, that decision will only be made by the senior spinal specialist. All treatments being carried out will be undertaken by fully qualified physicians from within the particular field of specialty required.
All the senior physicians involved in the patient’s treatment plan will meet regularly, both before and after surgery, to discuss and evaluate the patient’s progress. Comprehensive follow-up procedures will be put in place through consultation between the spinal surgeons and rehabilitation specialists to monitor and assess the patient’s progression post-surgery and to evaluate the level of surgical success.
Why Samitivej Hospital’s Spinal and Joint Center
This center is now renowned for being the very best facility in the field anywhere in the kingdom. Its standards are based upon those of the United States and are certificated to be as such through the Clinical Care Program Certification (CCPC) from Joint Commission International (JCI). This ensures that the assessment, diagnostics and treatment are of a truly global standard.
To achieve such high accolades, the center has ensured that it is equipped with state of the art equipment and utilizes cutting edge technology and procedures. Examination rooms are designed, not only to be functional to the Nth degree, but also to be comfortable and stress reducing for the patient.
Operating theaters are the envy of most other establishments and are equipped to world class standards, each theater includes C-ARM 2-D and 3-D and MRI machines. The spinal and Joint Center also embraces modern design and technology in other areas of a patient’s treatment and rehabilitation.
Specialists are on constant call to produce custom made equipment for each patient. From customized devices to help support the body and limbs, to specialist shoemaking and rehabilitation aids ensure that each patient has the exact equipment they require to maximize their recovery.
Post treatment it is vital that patients have continued access to advice and support. With this in mind, the Samitivej Spinal and Joint Center ensure that each patient has clinical support as they begin their journey back to living a full and active life to the degree that their condition allows. The center’s team is well aware that further consultations and advice is essential in maximizing recovery.
For native Thais and for those from overseas, there is no specialist spinal and joint center that exceeds the quality and standards of that at Samitivej Hospital to be found across the world. Samitivej Hospital’s Spine and Joint Center has the best available equipment, uses the very best techniques, has a world renowned specialist surgical and support team and unsurpassed post-treatment support.
Article Submitted By Community Writer