A young girl from Nuh district in Haryana, who was suffering from an abnormal S-shaped curve of the spine, can finally stand straight. This is because her spine was restored to its original straight shape following a complex surgery at Sarvodaya Hospital, Faridabad.
The surgery went on for 10 hours, and was conducted by a team of surgeons led by Dr Ashish Tomar, Senior Consultant, Orthopedics & Spine Surgery, Sarvodaya Hospital. The girl, 12, had been suffering from a rare but severe spinal deformity since she was seven years of age, as a result of which her back began to bend side-to-side from the normal spinal curve, a statement released by the hospital said. Her parents were the first to notice her condition, and decided to seek medical help. The girl’s spinal curve kept growing and became very pronounced in the last two years.
The Girl Was Suffering From Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis
In the statement, Dr Tomar said that the girl was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis, a rare condition that can become life-threatening with lack of treatment. He explained that a patient suffering from this condition has an abnormal curvature of the spine, which causes the spinal column to bend left or right, in the shape of an S.
Curve Beyond 60 Degrees Becomes Progressive For Life
Dr Tomar added that a curve of up to 10 degrees in a human spine is considered normal. However, a spinal curve beyond 60 degrees becomes progressive for life. This is because it will keep becoming more and more severe with time. He said the condition is present in about 0.5 per cent of the total population of children.
The Girl Had A Spinal Curve Of 120 Degrees
When the girl visited the hospital, she already had a spinal curve of 120 degrees. The curve had progressed quickly by 40 degrees during the previous year, the statement said.
The total volume of air that her lungs could hold had decreased, as she was suffering from a restrictive pulmonary disease. Dr Tomar said that the child’s spine would have kept growing till she turned 18, and that the curve would have become more severe. He added that her lungs would have continued getting compressed, and that she would not have been able to breathe enough air. According to him, any delay in the treatment would have been life-threatening for her.
The Girl Was Kept In Spinal Traction For A Week Before Surgery
There was also a risk of the girl getting paralysed from direct correction of such a massive spinal curve as hers. Therefore, she was kept in spinal traction for a week to loosen her tissues around the spine. As a result, the curvature of the spine was reduced to 80 degrees from 120 degrees. After this, the doctors operated on her.
How Was The Surgery Conducted?
Dr Tomar said the surgery was extremely difficult as fixing screws through the twisted, small bones of the spine was a very challenging task. He explained that the C-arm X-ray machine used routinely to guide the doctors during the surgery was of no use due to the massive deformity in her spine.
Dr Tomar said the pedicle bones that form the bridge between the vertebrae had become hard. Therefore, the hand manoeuvres were difficult. Despite all this, the surgery was a complete success, Dr Tomar said. The doctors managed to correct the spine deformity by as much as 75 per cent and the girl was able to walk on her own feet the very next day. He further said that the spinal curve was reduced to just 46 degrees from 120 degrees, curing the patient completely. Four days after her surgery, she was discharged. The girl can now lead a normal life, Dr Tomar said.
The patient’s mother, Tanny Rani, said that due to the curved spine, her daughter could not stand straight. The girl was much shorter than her mother in height, Rani said.
After the surgery, the girl can now stand straight and has suddenly become taller than her mother, Rani added.
“I cannot believe my eyes at the transformation,” she said.
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