A boy, aged just one year and nine months, suffering from a spinal deformity along with tuberculosis, underwent a four-hour long successful surgery at a private hospital here. He was suffering from Kyphotic deformity which is excessive outward curvature of the spine. It causes hunching of the back, Dr Gururaj Sangondimath, consultant spine surgeon, at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) said. He was also suffering from tuberculosis of the spine, was unable to stand and was in severe pain when he came here, the doctor said. “We conducted MRI. It revealed that there was destruction of backbones due to tuberculosis, which caused severe deformity and spinal cord compression leading to weakness in the legs,” Dr Sangondimath said.
“This was a highly challenging case especially due to the age of the patient. It is for the first time in India that such a young child has successfully undergone such a surgery,” the doctor said. Generally, the upper portion of the spine is curved outward to a certain degree which in medical terms is called kyphosis or the “kyphotic” curve. Normal curvature of the neck and lower back bends the spine inward. These outward and inward curves of the spine enable it to bear the load of a body with less energy consumption.
Abnormal curvature is known as kyphotic deformity. The boy’s spine had a curvature of 110 degrees, whereas normally it should have been 40 to 45 degrees, Dr Sangondimath said, adding with the surgery, the curvature was reduced to 40 degrees. “Considering the age of the child, performing a surgery for deformity correction was highly challenging for the team of doctors,” he said.
There were challenges in monitoring the patient’s functional integrity during the surgery using neuromonitoring methods. There were anesthetic challenges too, Dr Sangondimath said, adding it was probably for the first time in India that pedicle screws were inserted in a patient of this age. “We are glad that the team performed the surgery successfully despite these obstacles,” Dr H S Chhabra, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC said. After the operation, due to the dedicated care by the medical and rehabilitation staff at the centre, the boy was able to walk and has been discharged, the doctor said.