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Spine Surgery

Division of Spine Surgery is attached to the Department of Orthopaedics. Treatment for entire spectrum of Spinal Disorders is provided at SP Fort Hospital. Thorough clinical and radiological evaluation is followed by formulation of a treatment plan suited best for the patient.

While the vast majority of common back pain and neck pain are treated by non operative methods like focused exercises, physiotherapy, lifestyle modifications or injections, some patients may need surgical intervention.

Patient can expect a thorough explanation and discussion with the doctor about the disease process, natural course, treatment options (operative and non-operative), lifestyle alterations and expectations after surgery.

Fully equipped operation theatre and advanced instrumentation supports fellowship- trained spine surgeon and anesthesiologits in delivering Spine surgery conforming to world standards at affordable cost.

Division of Spine Surgery at SP Fort Hospital is run by Dr Ashok Thomas. He is the first and only person in South Kerala to obtain the superspecialty fellowship degree (FNB) in Spine Surgery offered by the National Board of Examinations. He has undergone extensive training in Spine surgery at reputed centres in India and abroad.


Monday, Thursday - 9 am to 1 pm
Tuesday, Friday - 4pm to 5:30 pm
Spine Clinic runs on four days a week and cat ers exclusively to out-patients with Spine ailments

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Treatment for the entire spectrum of spine problems is offered:

  • Minimally Invasive (small incision) Surgeries for Disc prolapse
       o Microdiscectomy (For Lumbar and Cervical Disc Prolapse)
       o Microdecompression for lumbar canal stenosis
  • Scoliosis Corrective Surgery
  • Kyphosis corrective surgery
  • Fracture Spine Surgery
  • TLIF/ PLIF for Spondylolisthesis
  • Surgery for Spinal Infection
  • Spine Tumor Surgery


Back pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a physician and is only second to common cold as a cause for lost days at work. Back pain is estimated to affect 90% of individuals at some point in their lives. Half of them experience more than a single episode during their lifetime.

Back pain in itself is not a disease. Rather, it is the indicator of an underlying irritation of anatomic structures- bones, ligaments, muscles, intervertebral discs or nerves. Your physician can narrow down the cause for your pain based on the symptom pattern and by examining you clinically.

Neck Pain too is a common ailment affecting all age groups among adults. The cause for the neck pain may differ with age. Clinical and radiological evaluation can differentiate benign pathology from more sinister ones.


  • Muscle or ligament strain/sprain
  • Intervertebral disc prolapse
  • Disc degeneration
  • Lumbar canal stenosis
  • Spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis
  • Fracture of vertebrae
  • Facetal arthropathy
  • Secondary to deformities like scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Infection of vertebrae/disc
  • Tumors
  • Urinary stones/infection
  • Pelvic pathology


Some symptoms may suggest the presence of a spine pathology that warrants urgent attention by your doctor. Patients experiencing these symptoms should get themselves examined by a doctor without delay.

  • Weakness or numbness of leg or hand
  • Urinary or bowel symptoms
  • Rest pain (pain even on taking rest)
  • Night pain
  • Fever
  • Weight loss


Backpain Fortunately, the vast majority of cases of back pain can be treated with medicines, rest and exercises. However, some of them require prompt surgical intervention for optimum results. Your physician can differentiate beween these two patient groups based on history, clinical examination and radiographs (X-ray films).

When there are features like long standing pain, pain along the leg (sciatica), fever, weakness or numbness of leg, difficulty in controlling urinary and bowel functions, further evaluation with imaging modalities like MRI or CT scan is required.

Adherence to prescription medicines and exercise program, precautions to avoid further back injury, regular follow up and avoiding self medications are important in managing your back pain. When surgery is needed, discuss with your spine specialist regarding the treatment options, what to expect after surgery, time frame for returning to work.


Backpain When the intervertebral disc prolapse causes leg pain not responding to medications for at least 4-6 weeks, or if there is progression of weakness or urinary or bladder symptoms attributable to the disc prolapse, surgical removal of the prolapsed disc material (discectomy) may be needed.


Orthopaedics Microdiscectomy is the state- of-the-art for surgical treatment of lumbar disc prolapse. Advantages of microdiscectomy are decreased postoperative pain, earlier mobilization, reduced hospital stay and earlier resumption of job as compared to conventional or open discectomy (also known as laminectomy- discectomy).

In this procedure, the prolapsed disc is approached through an incision 1 to 1 inch in length over the lower back. The paraspinal muscles are minimally disturbed and special retractors are placed to allow access to the disc and bone removal is often unnecessary to expose the disc. Use of high quality microscope ensures coaxial illumination and excellent magnification of anatomical details allowing the surgeon to ensure adequate decompression without disturbing the normal structures. The wound is then stitched up with absorbable threads.

Patient is allowed to be upright the same evening and can walk the next day. Patient can go home after about 3 days. Spinal exercises are started at four weeks and office goers can resume their work after about four weeks.


Orthopaedics Scoliosis refers to an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. Although most cases of scoliosis in youngsters arise without any reason (idiopathic scoliosis), abnormalities of vertebrae(congenital scoliosis) or the nervous system(neuromuscular scoliosis) may cause scoliosis.

Identification of the precise cause is essential in predicting the risk of progression and in formulating the treatment plan. Age of the child and the amount of growth left also guides treatment. Depending on these factors your doctor will formulate treatment plan which may involve observation, Brace treatment or surgery.

Scoliosis corrective surgery is a complex surgery performed only at a few specialist centres. Expertise at all levels- Surgical team, Anaesthesia team, highly skilled assistants, Intensive care team, Nursing and Physiotherapists are essential to ensure optimum outcome.

Team Spine Surgery

Dr Ashok Thomas

Senior Consultant in Spine Surgery
CareAs You Get From No Where
CureWith An Extra Care
CompassionThat cures
CommitmentThat's our passion