Al Zahra has become a trusted name in this highly specialised area, with its Paediatric Orthopaedic and Paediatric Spine Unit offering an impressive range of treatments for conditions that affect children.

The hospital was also the first centre in the Middle East to start Universal hip screenings for all new-borns delivered at its facility, as well as those referred to its care, under the direction of Dr. Zaid Al Aubaidi, Danish Royal Board-Certified and European Board-Certified Paediatric Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon. When orthopaedic experts, treat youngsters, they know they are dealing with a very specific and delicate set of problems. One of the most common paediatric orthopaedic problems that children face are fractures, mainly when they are aged between 2 years and early teens. One other huge issue in the UAE for children is scoliosis.

“The most common form of scoliosis is referred to as idiopathic, especially adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which is scoliotic deformities that happen after the age of 10,” explains Dr Al Aubaidi.

Screening is very important and  is advisably carried out at ages 8, 10 and 12. If a screening shows a worrying result, there highly effective modern treatments available that work toward reversing or stopping the progression of the curve. At Al Zahra Hospital Dubai the treatment of the scoliotic curve starts when the curve hits the definition of scoliosis, which is more than 10 degrees – while the rest of the world mainly starts treatment when it hits 24 degrees.

“We have successfully completed over 1000 scoliotic surgical cases throughout my many years of practice. We use all the newest global techniques, for example, the use of magnetic rods for small children that are not fully developed or what we call segmental fixation for older children skeletally mature (final fusion) to achieve complete curve correction. We have also operated over 100 redo surgeries where patients had previously had surgeries done abroad and they need correcting by us.” Further advance non-operative treatments include the use of back braces for scoliosis correction.

“We use the Providence night- time brace, which is a revolutionary spinal orthosis for young patients with a proven record of results for all curve types: lumbar, thoracic, double major and thoracolumbar. The brace needs to be used only at night-time and this way will not affect the child’s mobility, psychology and daily activities.” The hospital furthermore offers unique treatment for neuromuscular cases such as Cerebral Palsy, through rebalancing procedures, transforming many CP paediatric cases from non-walkers to assisted walkers.


What are some of the most common orthopaedic problems children face?

The commonest pediatric orthopedic problems that kids can face are of course fractures and fractures are very common in kids from the activity age, let’s say from 2 years until the late teenager age, and the older the child is, the commonest fractures will happen due to recreational activities.  In general, we say that fracture treatment for pediatric patients is better to be treated by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon because they always have in mind the possibility of the effect on the growth and also how to take the growth into consideration.

What are the main causes? What’s the best action plan for such problems?

For a pediatric orthopedic could be of course deformities.  Deformities could result from fractures, but it could be also congenital deformities and the main causes are widely unknown, as if we take deformities of the limbs or deformities of the spine, most of these cases we don’t know the reason, but of course the treatment is available.

Scoliosis is a huge issue in the UAE – why is this and what can be done to tackle it (in the home, at school, in society)?

Start with scoliosis is a bent in the spine that happens in the frontal view and there are many causes of scoliosis and by far the commonest is what is referred to idiopathic and according to the age by far commonest of the idiopathic is what is referred to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  This means, all the scoliotic deformities that happens in kids after the age of 10 years.  The best action plan will be again the early detection of these problems as the treatment in early stage would be widely nonsurgical mainly by bracing the scoliotic deformity.

What telltale signs do parents need to watch out for?

The parents should have their kids screened periodically by the pediatric orthopedic surgeon and especially for the spinal deformity, this should be done for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at the age of 8 years, 10 years and 12 years.

What new treatments/surgical interventions does your hospital offer? Can you talk about success rates…?

The facility in Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, we operate around 100 scoliotic cases a year and the success rate is very high.  At the same time, all the new techniques which are available in the world, if we take for example, the use of magnetic rods or the use of what we call segmental fixation and complete correction of the curve are available, and it is worth mentioning that in Al Zahra Hospital Dubai we have operated many cases as a redo surgery and those cases were for patients that had their surgeries done abroad in reputable centers, and this is just to say that the level of treatment is by far very high in our facility.

How important is it to address scoliosis early in childhood? What are the repercussions?Why should patients approach Al Zahra for paediatric orthopaedic problems?Any other information you would like to add.

We would like here to mention as the last thing that at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, the Pediatric Orthopedic and Pediatric Spine unit offers a wide range of treatments for all conditions that can affect the kids, whether its fractures or deformities of the limbs or deformity of the spine.  We have a very high record of many cases that has been treated and we have also, as for example for hip screening, considered to be the first center in the Middle East that started universal hip screenings for all the newborns that are delivered at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai and also the newborns that are referred to our care.  As in regard also to the treatment of the scoliotic deformities, we have wide range of treatment from the conservative which could be just observation, but also we attack the curve very early with non-operative measures as the brace and we are using the newest technology which is the Providence nighttime brace which means the brace needs to be used only at nighttime, and in this way will not affect the kid’s mobility, psychology and daily activities.  We also start treatment of the scoliotic curve just when the curve hits the definition of scoliosis which is more than 10 degrees, while all over the world, it is still following the commonest practice that to start bracing when it hits 24 degrees.  The whole philosophy of this treatment came in our mind that, as long as we are not harming the child and we are using only the nighttime brace and we know that the brace will not correct, but rather hold the progression or stop the progression, then it’s of course better to start the treatment as early as possible and we are proud to say that we are first center that have started this kind of treatment.


More than 450 local and international health specialists attended physically or virtually

Dubai has hosted the “6th Annual MENA International Orthopaedic Congress”, in the physical and virtual presence of over 450 specialists from 20 countries worldwide.

The hybrid event, hosted with support from the country’s health authorities and events management firm Maarefah Management, was the first of its kind congress since the social distancing protocols in the emirate were eased off.

“The most prominent topics discussed in this pioneering conference included the latest treatments for orthopedic problems and fractures in children and adults, and the specialists also focused on the problems of the back, pelvis, lower limbs, and lower limb fractures in children,” noted Dr. Zaid Al-Obaidi, consultant pediatric orthopedic and pediatric spine surgeon, head of pediatric orthopedic and pediatric spine unit, Al Zahra Hospital Dubai.

Dr. Hayder Saleh Al Saadi, consultant orthopaedics and trauma surgeon at Rashid Hospital in Dubai, UAE, added: “We are very proud of the conference success as being the first medical meeting to be held in the region during the post-Covid-19 pandemic era, while ensuring we adherence to the highest standards of preventive measures which included the commitment of all attendees to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance.”

The three-day conference consists of workshops on bone fractures in children, the latest techniques in treatment, as well as discussions on complex spine surgeries and adoption of methods in the use of endoscopes in spine surgery as well as pelvic fracture surgery. Among the most prominent topics, how surgeons could adopt the highest preventive standards during surgery in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, were also discussed.

Copyright Dr. Zaid Al Aubaidi 2020. All rights reserved.