Her parents are poor and were unable to fund the surgery at private hospitals as the estimated cost was Rs six to seven lakhs. The surgery cost nothing to the girl’s family.
Doctors claim that this is first such surgery to be performed at the government-run Sassoon Hospital.
“My daughter had this problem for the last five years. We consulted a doctor but the cost of Rs six to seven lakh was too much. I contacted representatives from the legislative assembly who directed me to Sassoon Hospital. Orthopaedic Dr Ajay Chandanwale promised to treat my daughter,” said the father of the 14-year-old girl who works as a farmer.
“The girl was suffering from idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis with the reason unknown), and had developed deformity of the spine. She had a deformity of 55 degrees and to bring it back to normal was a difficult task for us and our team worked very hard at it,” said Dr Ajay Chandanwale, who is also the dean of BJ Medical College.
Dr Vishal Patil, a senior member of the team that performed the surgery, said, “We took X-rays to study the exact detail of the spine and to get an idea of the spine’s curvature. We then used titanium screw fixation at multiple levels to correct the deformity and carried out fusion with bone graft. Around 17 screws were used in this surgery.” The surgery took around five hours.
Dr Rahul Puranik, another orthopaedic surgeon on the team, said, “This surgery is not only technically demanding but also requires significant skills. If gone wrong it involves serious complications like loss of power in the lower limbs and anaesthetic complications. But because of the use of advanced instrumentation and surgical techniques the risks associated with surgery were reduced in this case significantly.”
After two weeks of the surgery the girl is fine and recovering. Her father said “This is a miracle for me as this has given a second life to my daughter. Now, she can lead a normal life without the fear of social stigma.”
What is scoliosis
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of spine, which is normally straight and vertical.
It can occur in infancy, childhood, and in adolescence. It can be congenital, due to neuromuscular (imbalance of nerves and muscles) disorders or idiopathic (without any cause). Girls are more prone to it than boys.