Surgical treatment for spine diseases in Abuja



This study seeks to review the short term outcomes of patients with spine diseases treated in Abuja. We reviewed early morbidity and mortality. A second part of the study evaluated the patients’ perceived outcomes. This may help in presenting the current state of management outcomes of benefit to patients and relatives.

Materials and methods

The study is a review of prospective data of patients operated in a private specialist hospital in Abuja. The clinical notes of all patients undergoing surgical intervention for spine disease in a single year (January to December 2012) were obtained and relevant demographic and clinical data extracted. A research student (A.I.) then telephoned all the patients to ask them about their outcomes and the success of the operation. The telephone calls were made in January 2013. The patients were asked their opinions on the outcome of the operation, perception of quality of hospital care and whether they would recommend others to have their operations in Nigeria.


48 patients were admitted for spinal procedures including surgery in 2012. There were 50 procedures performed. Two patients had an additional operation within the year. There were 21 women and 27 men. The age range was from 28 to 78 with a mean age of 54 years. About 40% of the patients were aged 28-50 and 60% were aged 51-78 years. The diagnosis was degenerative disease in the majority and trauma in 7 cases, metastatic prostate tumour in one and Tuberculosis of the spine in another case. All operations were performed safely and no intra-operative complications occurred. There have been a total of 5 deaths. Three patients with severe spinal cord injury died after discharge due to poor rehabilitation and care. Overall patients rated the operation a success in 87% of cases. Majority would have the operation in Nigeria again.


Spine operations are being performed safely in Nigeria. The morbidity and mortality is low and outcomes are satisfactory. Patients were satisfied with the early results of their operations. This may help in reducing the exodus of patients to other countries for spine care.

Dr Biodun Ogungbo, MBBS (Lagos), FRCS (Ed), FRCS (SN), MSc Consultant Neurosurgeon, Abuja Director, Stroke Action Nigeria Member: Abuja Brain & Spine Group Telephone: 07082350074 Information Hotline: 08122221616 Email:



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