In what is claimed to be a first in the country, doctors from Mumbai recently performed an endoscopic spinal correction on a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with tethered-cord syndrome.
In the syndrome, the growth of the spinal cord is restricted, causing numerous physiological and neurological complications.
The patient, Aarti Rasal, who walked with a hunched back and dragging sensation in her right leg all her life, was able to walk properly within four hours of the surgery. Rasal — originally from Ahmednagar — is a daughter of a housemaid and daily wage labourer. After visiting numerous local hospitals to seek help for her curved back and difficulties in walking, the family finally came across the orthopedic department of Narayana Health’s SRCC Children’s hospital, Mumbai in October.
“An MRI investigation revealed that the patient had developed scoliosis (a medical condition in which a person’s spine has a sideways curve) with tethered cord syndrome. The congenital condition, in some cases, develops to increase the curvature of the spine while in others it’s stable,” said Dr Sumeet Pawar, neurosurgeon and minimal access spine surgeon.
Pawar’s team decided to perform an endoscopic surgery through a skin incision less than an inch to ensure minimal trauma is caused to muscle and bone. “It was a challenge because these kind of surgeries have never been performed on a paediatric patient in India and even around the world, there have been only seven to eight documented examples. But the patient was able to move out of bed within four hours and had minimal to no discomfort,”
Pawar said. Rasal was discharged from the hospital on October last week and her postsurgical recovery has been extremely satisfactory, the doctors said.