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Highgate Private Hospital was the first hospital in the UK to introduce the first TOPS™ System procedure with a minimally invasive approach that improves the lives of patients suffering from a range of back pain conditions including, lumbar spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis. Our lead Spinal Surgeon Consultant, Mr Bob Chatterjee, even assisted in developing the device and was the first to perform the surgery with the new device last year with great success. Mr Chatterjee, who is also the spinal consultant for Total Orthopaedics says, "The TOPS™ System was revolutionary when it was introduced a few years ago, as it stabilizes the spine segment by the introduction of a flexible cage device, while maintaining motion – something a traditional lumbar fusion couldn’t create which effectively was a method that uses rods and screws to fix the affected vertebrae together thus limiting mobility post-surgery. Many of my patients prefer the TOPS™ system if it is clinically feasible, so they can return to physical activity before they initially developed symptoms."
"This new device will effectively remove much of the anxiety patients may have about the surgery that previously requires a large incision to the back which sometimes involves fusing the affected spine together," stated Mr Bob Chatterjee,
Spinal stenosis, one of the conditions that will be treatable through the new method, is one of the most common back conditions affecting the over 50s although Mr Chatterjee has seen an increase in patients from 40 years onwards. Over 25 million adults in the UK today are suffering from chronic pain that has lasted for three months or longer, according to statistics from the BMJ, with women and older age-groups being most at risk.
Mr Chatterjee says, “Spinal stenosis is nick-named one of the silent epidemics – it is frequently misdiagnosed and therefore we see patients progressively get worse for years before they are finally referred to a spinal specialist. The patients we see have commonly been living with the condition for four or five years before they have achieved an accurate diagnosis. It is common that they merely attribute the pain to old age and natural deterioration”.
Due to the smaller incision with the MIS TOPS surgery, there will be less damage to the surrounding tissue and muscle, thereby allowing greater potential for the patient to heal and recover quicker than the previous method.
"For many patients, this procedure represents the Holy Grail," explained Ron Sacher, General Manager of Premia Spine, the manufacturing company behind the invention. "Patients are attracted to the idea of less invasive surgery. At the same, they much prefer to have a motion-sparing alternative to lumbar fusion. The hip and knee replacement systems were invented in the United Kingdom. It is only fitting that Premia Spine brings leading-edge solutions to the market."