Bengaluru: A challenging surgery right on time for 13-year-old Gaganashree has ensured that she can enjoy her life in full. The teenager was suffering from a rare genetic disorder, spondylo-epiphyseal dysplasia (MED), which is a malformation of the growing ends of the long bones.
Even performing daily chores was difficult for Gaganashree, who had a waddling gait. "She could not walk normally and it embarrassed her," said her elder brother Hemant.
Gaganashree suffered not just physically, but also mentally. "I was hoping that I would be able to enjoy life like others," she said. "She rarely got out of the house because of her deformity. As her legs were crossed, walking was quite difficult," Hemant said.
Gaganashree and her parents made rounds of many hospitals and specialists in the city, but were told everywhere that her condition could not be treated because of lack of expertise or she was asked to wait till she grew up and completed her physical growth.
"Gaganashree and her parents came to us after visiting quite a few centres. They were told that she had a genetic disorder that could not be corrected. We did a detailed evaluation and diagnosed her with Spondylo-epiphyseal dysplasia.
Her long bones were not growing normally, because the growing ends of her bones were malformed," said Dr Mohan Puttaswamy, Consultant Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgeon at Fortis Hospitals.
He said that she had come with a bad deformity as it was neglected for a long time, making the surgery more challenging. The deformity was noticed in the knees, thigh bones and the leg bones.
After the evaluation, an orthopaedic team, led by Dr Puttaswamy, decided to perform a single-stage multilevel procedure. Gaganashree’s condition had worsened because not only was she short, but also because of ligament dysfunction in the knee joints.
In a challenging surgery, which lasted six hours, Fortis doctors corrected the deformities in her right femur (thigh bone) and left tibia (shin bone) and straightened her bones.
A special procedure, called the open-closed wedge technique, was used so as not to reduce the length of the right thighbone. In the left leg, too, a similar strategy was used to avoid shortening of the limb and both her legs were straightened. The loose ligaments in the knee joints were tightened to enable her to walk with stability.