04 September 2009

He couldn't sit, now will walk

BANGALORE: Prateek (12) had developed a progressive sideward bending of the spine, and found it difficult to sit or walk.

A cerebral palsy patient, Prateek was diagnosed with neuromuscular scoliosis (sideward bending of the spine) of 100 degrees. He needed a galveston (spino-pelvic) fusion surgery, but as it is a rare surgery, involving high risk and expertise, the boy had to wait for two years for the right facility and surgeon. Finally, Manipal Hospital came to his rescue.

The surgery done by a team headed by Dr S Vidyadhara, consultant spine surgeon, lasted for eight hours. He was given six units of blood.

Now, two days after the operation, Prateek can sit straight. His post-operative radiograph shows all implants are in good position.

According to Dr Vidyadhara, cerebral palsy is quite common and affects one in a thousand children born of normal deliveries. It is the result of hypoxic damage to the brain during labour that causes muscular paralysis and results in neuro-muscular scoliosis.

Prateek's case was challenging because of the severity of the curve -- it was 100 degrees and rigid. Also, a side of the pelvis got lifted up on one side and due to which he lost balance while sitting. All this had to be corrected. He also faced risk of paraplegia (impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities). The other challenges were increased surgical time and risk of blood loss, the doctor said.

Prateek can now move both his legs, and will be able to use a walker in two-three days once the operative pain is reasonably reduced.

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