3-yr-old TB patient gets new lease of life

Aug 14, 2012, 07:10 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

Orthopaedic team from Sion hospital succeed in arresting spread of infection that had eaten into the vertebra of her spinal column; infection could have left patient paralysed

A three-year-old girl, who has been suffering from an extreme case of tuberculosis, got a renewed lease of life after being taken to Sion hospital by a social worker, where doctors operated upon the little girl.

Khushi with her mother
Saved: The constant spread of the bacteria had led to Khushi’s spinal column getting compressed at five different vertebral levels

Khushi Pandit’s lives in Matunga with her mother Pinky Pandit (25), who begs for a living in the area. According to the doctors, the disease had reached a critical stage wherein Khushi was unable to move or stand as a result of the bacteria destroying three vertebral levels. The constant spread of the bacteria had led to her spinal column getting compressed at five different vertebral levels.

“My daughter started experiencing pain whenever she tried to stand or sit. She used to shiver constantly in the past four months and I had no clue about what she was suffering from,” Pinky said.

Pinky added that Khushi’s condition was noticed by a social worker who first took the mother and her daughter to Sion Hospital two months ago.
After initial examinations and conducting an MRI scan, the orthopaedic team decided to operate on the girl 15 days later.

“It is very rare to see such major destruction caused by tuberculosis. The TB infection had started eating into her vertebra,” said Dr Deepak Joshi, assistant professor of Sion hospital.

He added that Khushi’s spinal column was not stable and it was a challenge to operate on her. “Her spinal cord had got compressed around the infected area and had we not operated, she would have become a paralytic for life,” Joshi said.

The orthopaedic team operated on Khushi on July 25 and the surgery continued for four hours. Chief Surgeon Dr Ashok K Rathod attached an expandable cage around the damaged vertebrae, while another implant was used to support the spinal column.

“Her limbs were extremely weak because her vertebral column had become completely unstable. We are keeping her under observation for six more weeks, after which she will be able to walk normally,” said Rathod. 

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