Francois Dubousset and Dr Michel Onimus.
DOHA: There is an increased interest in developing spine surgery in Qatar and the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has been involving international experts in the procedure, says HMC.
Top French orthopaedic surgeon Dr Michel Onimus recently visited Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Orthopedic Department and conducted surgeries.
Currently Honorary Professor of Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery in Besancon University in France, Onimus has been regularly visiting HMC since 1999 as part of HMC’s efforts to provide local patients with top expertise and enable them to avoid the need to travel abroad for specialised care, HMC said yesterday.
Dr Onimus sees between 80 and 100 patients in the clinics during each visit to HMC, and operates on several major and complicated cases of children with spinal deformities, according to Dr Alaa Zakout, Spine Specialist at HMC.
Dr Zakout said the department is now starting to do research on spine problems in adults. One of the research studies involves comparing fixation methods to treat spine fractures, and another study analyzes cases where patients went abroad and came back with complications.
“People usually go abroad thinking they can get better service. However, many of these cases return with complications or their operations were not done properly, and so there is increased interest in developing spine surgery locally,” said Zakout.
Onimus visits HMC three or four times a year to conduct surgery and consult with patients on a fixed appointment basis. He is planning to return in February 2014.
During the visit, Onimus was accompanied by Orthotics Technician Francois Dubousset.
Scoliosis is a condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side. It can be congenital, idiopathic (of unknown cause), or caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. About 1-5 per 1,000 children worldwide have spinal deformities, said Dr Onimus. Severe scoliosis can be disabling.
“When we are treating spinal deformities especially in children, there is no easy surgery. The orthotic treatment, or treatment using braces, for scoliosis is a conservative treatment that is very important because in many cases especially in small children, braces can be sufficient to prevent the spinal curve from progressing, and to avoid the need for surgery,” said Onimus.