Spinal surgeon is called to India to give advice.
CONSULTANT Spinal Surgeon Iqroop Chopra, who specialises in managing neck and back pain and sciatica, both operatively and nonoperatively, was invited to advise surgeons at the prestigious Post-Graduate Institute in Chandigarh, India, recently.
Nuffield Health's Mr Chopra travelled there for a six-day teaching visit, with a group of six British spinal surgeons of Indian origin, to assess patients of all ages with complex spinal disorders where they discussed case by case treatment options and further help local surgeons to then treat or operate.
Mr Chopra, who is chair of Education and Training at the British Association of Spine Surgeons, is dedicated to teaching and education of other doctors in the UK and overseas. This role requires organising national teaching days and fellowships for spinal consultants and trainees. As an honorary lecturer at Cardiff University, he teaches undergraduate medical students both in clinical and classroom settings. He is also co-convenor of a Royal College-recognised spinal course popular with postgraduate doctors appearing for their final FRCS exams before completing their training.
The only spinal fellowshiptrained neurosurgeon in Wales, Mr Chopra trained in London at specialist tertiary orthopaedic and neurosurgery hospitals. He works at the Nuffield Health South Wales Spinal Centre, is qualified to look at spinal pathology from both an orthopaedic and a neurosurgical perspective. This unique dual perspective is an important aspect of the South Wales Spinal Centre team approach, comprising four other spinal orthopaedic surgeons and Mr Chopra as the spinal neurosurgeon to accurately investigate and diagnose, treat and rehabilitate the entire spectrum of spinal conditions. The spinal surgeons work as a team, operating together on complex cases, including children and young teenagers with scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
Surgically he has specific expertise in minimally invasive surgery which includes using the microscope for carrying out lumbar microdiscectomy, anterior neck surgery and intrinsic dissection around the nerves for tumours and even fusions. Working from a painmanagement viewpoint, he is also able to treat a range of spinal disorders without surgery, which is the appropriate treatment for approximately 80% of the referrals. To do this, the spinal centre consultant team works closely with the physiotherapy, radiology and pain management teams.
At Nuffield Health's Cardiff Bay Hospital, Mr Chopra runs a one-stop injection clinic for back/leg pain and neck/arm pain. He explains: "Typically, you would see your spinal consultant for a clinical examination, and then have an MRI scan. After your MRI scan often you immediately go back to see the consultant to talk through your results. If appropriate, your consultant will discuss with you the option of having injection therapy. This could be a facet joint injection, nerve root block, or sacro-iliac joint injection done on the same day at Cardiff Bay hospital, by the surgeon or a consultant radiologist."
Dr Raj Bahadur, professor and head of orthopaedic surgery, Post-Graduate Institute, Chandigarh, India, with Nuffield Health's Iqroop Chopra