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More and more young people suffer from lumbar disc herniation

Update: June, 24/2021 - 08:41


Doctors at the City International Hospital perform a surgery on a 35-year-old man for lumbar disc herniation. — Photo Courtesy of the hospital

Gia Lộc

HCM CITY — A 35-year-old patient was hospitalised at the City International Hospital in HCM City with severe lower back pain that radiated to his left leg and difficulty moving around.

Doctors diagnosed the patient as suffering from lumbar disc herniation (LDH), a common disorder among adults with degenerated lumbar intervertical discs, and prescribed surgery.  

Dr Lê Trọng Nghĩa of the hospital’s Department of Neurological Surgery said a 90-minute microsurgery, which combines magnification with advanced diploscopes, specialised precision tools and various operating techniques, was performed to remove the herniated portion of the lumbar disc that was putting pressure on a spinal nerve root.  

This method is common around the world and in Việt Nam, and he and his colleagues have used enhanced post-surgery recovery methods by maintaining pre-operative organ function and reducing the stress response, he said.

Thanks to this, the patient recovered rapidly and has been discharged, he said.  

A 27-year-old man in Thủ Đức city was also diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation four years ago. His condition remains severe after he turned down surgery, with the herniated portion of the lumbar disc putting pressure on 50 per cent of the spinal cord, posing a high risk of paralysis of one side of the body.

Like him, many young people in the country suffering from lumbar disc herniation, even if severe, opt for physical therapy instead of surgery.   

Nghĩa said if patients treated with medicines and physical therapy feel worse after one or two months, they should visit a neurosurgeon and quickly get a surgery to prevent paralysis.

The cost of treating severe lumbar disc herniation is very high and the treatment is difficult, he said.

According to Ministry of Health statistics, 30 per cent of the country’s population suffer from the disease, including many aged between 25 and 55. 

Nghĩa said: “Many young people suffer from this disease because of prolonged sitting or standing at work. They do not pay attention to relaxing or spend time on exercising. Moreover, smoking and second-hand smoking causes the spine to age.”

He said there are many causes for lumbar disc herniation, including carrying heavy weights and wrong carrying posture. Many people have the habit of bending down rapidly from a standing position to lift heavy objects, causing the lumbar disc to herniate, he said. Injuries to the spine due to traffic and workplace accidents are also a cause, he said.

With ageing, the disc gradually dries out, losing its strength and resiliency, and herniation occurs easily then, he added. VNS



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