The Spine Service specialises in precision-oriented diagnosis and treatment for individuals with various spinal conditions. We are proud to be recognised as the leading centre for minimally invasive spine surgery in South East Asia and have established ourselves as a major referral centre for spinal deformity surgery over the years. We use a multidisciplinary approach with key partners in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, orthotics and rehabilitation medicine to skilfully treat the spectrum of spine conditions that can occur at any stage of life. We are proud to be the largest spine unit focused on spinal care in Singapore and continually receive tiertiary and quartenary referrals from local and regional hospital.
The spine service at SGH is dedicated to provide the safest and best outcome for each patient. We believe that every patient is unique and therefore carefully evaluate each individual pre-operatively before appropriate recommendations are made so as to achieve the best possible outcome with the lowest possible risk.
Our specialists are well versed in minimally invasive 'keyhole' techniques and perform approximately 1000 spine procedures every year. We pride ourselves for several key firsts in Asia including
Computer Navigation in spine surgery, being the first hospital in Asia to use the O-arm intraoperative spine navigation since 2007.
A key leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.
Robotic spine surgery in scoliosis as well as in degenerative spine diseases.
In addition to these , we perform routine spine surgeries such as lumbar spine decompression, spinal fusions, cervical and lumbar disc replacement, spinal tumour resection surgery, scoliosis and kyphosis correction as well as endoscopic spine surgery.
A large proportion of patients present to us with a problem of leg pain whereby the nerves in the low back are 'pinched' or compressed due to prolapsed 'slipped' discs. In some cases that do not respond to non-surgical management, minimally invasive discectomy and decompression is performed to alleviate the symptoms. This procedure is performed under the intraoperative microscope and patients can be discharged on the same day or the next day. In certain cases, endoscopic spine surgery can also be performed with equal success.
As we age, there is a risk of bone spurs forming within the spine which can weaken the joints or cause nerve compression. Patients may develop back pain due to instability of the spinal column and in such cases, your specialist may advise that the unstable portions of the spine be joined together so as to limit abnormal movements and thus reduce pain. Such procedures are currently normally performed with special rods and screws to increase the success rate of the procedure.
Many adolescents and young adults suffer from scoliosis whereby the spine is curved in a 'C' or 'S' shape. We are committed to preventing surgery with the use of bracing in individuals who are candidates for bracing. For those that require spine fusion to prevent progression, our team can perform this surgery successfully with a high number having > 60% correction in curve magnitude.
'Life is movement' – Aristotle.
The intervertebral discs in the neck and low back form the mobile parts of the spine that can sometimes get worn out. In order to treat the pain in the back and the low back, an artificial disc made of a combination of metal and plastic may be used to replace the worn out disc and relieve the pain. Disc replacement surgery is an alternative to a more common spinal fusion surgery particularly in young or active individuals.
The spine service has been collecting patient reported outcomes following spine surgery since 2002. It is the first spine surgery unit in South East Asia to do so and every patient that has been treated since is carefully tracked following their surgery so as to optimise their post-operative recovery.
Over the past decade, significant advances in spinal implants and biologics that promote bone fusion have led to better outcomes and faster recovery for all patients ranging from the youngest adolescent with idiopathic scoliosis to the oldest adult with degenerative scoliosis and nerve compression.
Lumbar Microscopic Discectomy and Decompression LaminotomyGood results are achieved in 80-90% of patients treated with lumbar discectomy. People with moderate to severe pain who had surgery noticed a greater difference than those who did not have surgery. The success rate for microdiscectomy spine surgery is generally high, with one extensive medical study showing good or excellent results overall for 84% of people who had the procedure. Your surgeon will advise you if you are a suitable candidate for this type of minimally invasive surgery.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplastyIn older patients who are suffering from persistently painful osteoporotic fractures of the lower back vertebrae, these relatively simple procedures have proven to be useful in relieving pain and improving mobility. A number of reviews have shown kyphoplasty to be efficacious, providing rapid pain relief, reducing need for pain medication, improving functional ability and enhancing health-related quality of life.