HCG Hospitals, Ahmedabad, successfully conducted a spinal osteotomy procedure on a 12-year-old girl, Rekha (name changed), who was suffering from rare congenital scoliosis (sideways curving of the spine), which resulted in a hunched back.
This condition was caused due to abnormal growth of the vertebra. A complex procedure was performed by breaking the fused backbone and reorienting the same while preserving the functions of the spinal column. The girl also suffered from multiple congenital conditions, including a single kidney, and also underwent heart surgery at the age of 8 months. This complex surgery for spinal correction was conducted by Dr. Amit Jhala, Consultant – Spine Surgery, HCG Hospitals, and a team of doctors at HCG hospitals. Rekha had a difficult childhood, facing multiple conditions due to birth defects.
She suffered from myelomeningocele since birth which is associated with other organs as well. She also suffered from Autism Spectrum Disorder, a developmental disability that affects socialization, communication, and behavior. When she was eight months old, Rekha had a hole in the upper chamber of her heart and had open-heart surgery in Ahmedabad. At the age of 2 and a half, she was found to have her spinal cord attached to the vertebral column, which could have led to several issues relating to her motor skills, including walking. Therefore, a prophylactic preventive surgery was conducted in Mumbai. On conducting sonography, it was also found that she had only a single kidney.
Rekha arrived at HCG Hospitals Ahmedabad with her conditions, including a hunched back. On diagnosing her condition by Dr. Amit Jhala and his team, it was found that her abnormal spinal growth had been progressing for about 12 years, leading to scoliosis. The team unanimously decided to fix the condition through a procedure known as spinal osteotomy while preserving the functions of the spinal cord. Intra-operative neuro-monitoring systems were used to monitor the functionality of the spinal cord while the surgery was being conducted. The surgeons realigned the spinal column in a normal fashion by making sure that the spine was brought back to its natural form.
This complex 7–8-hour surgery was conducted with utmost care as Rekha had undergone a spinal procedure in the past, due to which any damage to the spinal cord during the surgery could have led to her becoming a paraplegic, a condition where the individual loses the functionality of the lower limbs.
Commenting on the surgery, Dr. Amit Jhala, Director of Spinal Surgery, HCG Hospitals Ahmedabad, said, “It is amazing to see Rekha back on her feet after overcoming a complex spinal correction surgery. Rekha’s scoliosis was a result of a cosmetic deformity of abnormal growth in the spinal cord for 12 years, and if not treated on time, it would have grown until the age of 18, leading to more complications. Additionally, Rekha faced multiple health problems, with each one posing a unique challenge. This was a complex surgery, as any damage to the spinal cord during the surgery could leave damage to losing mobility and functionality of her lower limbs for the rest of her life. I would like to thank and congratulate my entire team for making the surgery successful.”
Expressing her gratitude, the parent of Rekha said, “Rekha had a lot of health problems growing up, and this spinal issue drastically changed her life. We consulted multiple surgeons to treat this disorder and were not satisfied. Dr. Amit revived our hopes by explaining the possibilities and the surgery our daughter could undertake to treat this condition. Today, watching her walk with normal posture gives us absolute joy. At this moment, I would like to thank Dr. Amit and his team of doctors at HCG hospitals for helping her stand back on her feet.”