Pune: Sassoon docs treat 14-yr-old with rare back deformity

A 14-year-old girl underwent a knife for a rare deformity, which had caused her spine to bend around 50 degrees in her upper back and 60 degrees in her lower back. Sassoon General Hospital doctors used 24 screws to straighten the spine



A 14-year-old girl underwent a knife for a rare deformity, which had caused her spine to bend around 50 degrees in her upper back and 60 degrees in her lower back. The complicated surgery was recently performed on her by doctors at Sassoon General Hospital (SGH), and 24 screws were used to straighten the spine.

Scoliosis is a cosmetically and functionally debilitating disorder, which causes deformity of the back leading to distorted spine, and can lead to heart problems, breathing problems and loss of power in legs if not corrected.

The patient hailed from Satara. The child and her parents had been looking for a treatment in multiple hospitals over the past few years. However, it being a complicated procedure requiring a tertiary care centre with highly skilled speciality surgeons, nurses and paramedical staff, the burden of the cost of the whole procedure could not be taken by her family.

Furthermore, she had a deformity of around 50 degrees in her upper back and 60 degrees in her lower back, making the procedure more difficult. They were told that it will cost up to Rs 5-6 Lakh in a private set up.

Her father, requesting anonymity, said, “We could not afford the treatment at the private hospital. And we are happy that our daughter’s spine is straight now, and she can lead a better life.”

The child and her parents approached the Orthopedics OPD in Sassoon Hospital in June 2019, where she was consulted by Dr Ambarish A Mathesul, orthopaedic spine surgeon trained for deformity of spine correction, who suggested surgical treatment and further investigations.

Dr Ambarish said, “When the family consulted us, over the next couple of months, a detailed pre-operative evaluation was done, to avoid any complications that might arise during the operation. The operation was conducted on October 5, 2019, under the guidance of Dean and Senior Spine Surgeon, Dr Ajay S Chandanwale. During the surgery, as many as 24 screws were used to straighten the spine and advanced equipment like Neuromonitoring was used so as to prevent any damage to the spinal cord and the nerves. The procedure lasted for four hours and measures were taken to reduce the blood loss to a minimum. The surgery went uneventfully, and the patient is recovering well post operatively.”

The surgical team consisted of Spine surgeons Dr Ajay Chandanwale and Dr Ambarish Mathesul, and was abely assisted by Dr Rahul Puranik, Dr Sushant Ghumare, Dr Nitin Dawre and Dr Rupesh Kadam from the department of Orthopaedics, Scrub nurse Mrs Radha and OT Assistant Deepak. Expert team of Anaesthesiologists headed by Dr Yogesh Gavali and Dr Naik and their team of Dr Suraj, Dr Rohit Sancheti successfully gave the anaesthesia.

Dr Ambarish said that such kind of back deformities are called Kyphoscoliosis, and it usually appear at age 5 to 15, and are most common in girls.

If left untreated and undiagnosed, they cause cosmetically unappealing appearance of the back, stunted height and may also lead to loss of power of both the legs. The ideal age for treatment of these patients is between 10 to 15 years.

Dr Chandanwale said that treatment of such complicated surgery as well as other complicated spine surgery facilities are available at Sassoon Hospital, and under his guidance Sassoon Hospital has been able to provide an expert team of Spine surgeons, facilities and equipment.

Whereas in private hospitals, these surgeries cost anywhere between 5 to 6 Lakh, Sassoon Hospital was able to do it at a reasonable cost with the help of  MJPJAY scheme and Medical Social Welfare department. Dr Chandanwale added that the entire Maharashtra should take benefit of these facilities.