A group of doctors at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, successfully performed a fusion less scoliosis surgery (also called vertebral body tethering) for the first time in the country on a 14-year-old girl affected by scoliosis — an abnormal sideward curvature of the spine.
Dr. Sajan K. Hegde, a consultant spine surgeon, headed the group of doctors who performed the surgery wherein they used a flexible wire to do away with the curve and still not restrict mobility after the patient was brought to hospital recognizing the sudden changes in her postures.
Shreya, who was fine like any other child, started showing signs of deformity in her spine when she turned 12, she experienced pain and there was an increase in the deformity. She was unable to carry on her day-to-day activities.
After initial medical interventions, it was found that she was affected by Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). The disease which is an abnormal sideward curvature of the spine is usually seen in young girls aged 8-12 year and it affects two to three percent of children between the ages of 10 and 18, a time when the human body is growing at its most rapid pace.
AIS results in an unsightly distortion of the rib cage, trunk, and shoulders and severe scoliosis can also cause cardiopulmonary problems.
“Fusionless Scoliosis Surgery is a shorter, less invasive, less expensive surgery that preserves motion and function in patients while lessening the chance of back pain later in life. This technique can now be used in select cases of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis where the deformity is corrected using a flexible cable. Here no fusion of the operated portion of the spine is performed,” said Dr. Hegde.
The patient is under physiotherapy, her posture has improved her ribcage, trunk and shoulders are aligned and getting better. She is back to normal day-to-day activity, he added.
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