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Neuroscience & Spine Center physicians help woman overcome rare condition

BenitaEnglishPhysicians at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Neuroscience & Spine Center completed a complex, sophisticated surgical procedure to correct a rare congenital deformity that presented significant health risks for a Fort Bend County woman.

Benita English had long suffered from a rare neurological disorder that caused a portion of her spine to protrude into her skull, compressing her brain stem.

“I lost the use of my arms and hands and had difficulty walking,” says English. “I also had really bad neck pain, along with numbness and tingling.”

A previous surgery in 2007 had stabilized her neck for a few years, but the condition worsened as she aged. When she finally came to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Neuroscience & Spine Center, board-certified neurosurgeon Rajesh Bindal, M.D. recommended a new surgical approach that would give physicians better access to the specific area where the problems were occurring and enable them to correct her condition.

“This was a very complex trans-oral surgery that required us to go through her mouth and back of her throat to access the juncture where her spine met the base of her skull,” says Bindal. “There are very few surgical teams in the Houston area who can perform this type of neurosurgery.”

Bindal, along with neurosurgeon John Park, M.D. and ear, nose and throat specialist Clement Chow, M.D., performed the surgery at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Once the surgical team had removed the base of English’s skull, they skillfully trimmed away excess bone that was compressing her brain stem.

After her surgery, English went through rehabilitation and physical therapy, and was able to begin walking comfortably on her own just a short time later.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the only institution in Fort Bend to have a full neuroscience program, capable of performing the most complex procedures. In addition to close collaboration between specialists, the Neuroscience & Spine Center employs a specially trained patient care navigator to help schedule appointments, answer questions and provide follow-up assistance.

“Our team approach ensures that patients receive the most comprehensive care,” says Bindal. “Being able to call upon our colleagues in specific subspecialties as needed – as well as having access to state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained operating room staff – enable us to tackle complex cases that previously could not be performed in Fort Bend.”

Physicians at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neuroscience & Spine Center specialize in neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic spine surgery, and pain intervention. The Neuroscience & Spine Center treats patients suffering from: Alzheimer’s and memory disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), back and neck pain, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy and seizures, migraines and headaches, multiple sclerosis, muscle and nerve injuries, muscular atrophy, myasthenia gravis, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, peripheral neuropathy, sleep disorders, and stroke.

“Our patients are always grateful to learn that we can help them so close to home, and I’m proud that we can offer this level of care to our neighbors,” says Bindal.

To make an appointment with a physician at the Neuroscience & Spine Center, call 281.274.7979. Learn more at houstonmethodist.org/sugarland, or visit our Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.

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