Bengaluru: An infant got back her right-hand movement after she underwent a five-hour long surgery to reconnect the injured nerves at a city hospital. Two-year-old Vaishnavi (name changed), whose upper limb was paralysed or suffering from ‘brachial plexus’ at birth, was recently operated at Manipal Hospitals, Malleswaram. The plexus of nerves connecting the neck to the upper limb is called brachial plexus. It is responsible for the function of the upper limb such as movements of shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand.
Little did her parents realise that their child had a paralysed limb right from her birth itself.
“When she was born, it was indeed a happy moment for us. Later, we discovered that she was not able to move her right arm and in fact was not moving her fingers too. The arm was completely paralysed. Honestly, we were shocked and confused. It was even frustrating after a while to see that our daughter was not leading a normal life and she would, therefore, be very irritable and constantly disturbed,” said Vaishnavi’s parents.
This commonly occurs in older babies, shoulder dystocia and breech presentations. The incidence is as common as two per 1,000 live births, said doctors. Recalling on how their daughter could not even play with other children normally, Vaishnavi’s parents said, “We did realise that it is a very complicated and rare case and in our mind we were determined to get the best treatment for her.”
Dr Bharath K. Kadadi, Consultant, Hand, Wrist & Orthopedic Surgeon, Manipal Hospitals, Malleswaram said, “Nerve recovery after surgery starts within six months and progresses till three years. We often see many such children with deformities of shoulder and elbow presenting late between 1 and 10 years. Physiotherapy before and after surgery is a must for these tiny tots to ensure the good return of function of the hand and upper limb. Vaishnavi’s parents are amazed at the improvement in her hand’s function after the surgery.”
He also pointed out that lack of awareness in the society is the reason for seeking delay in treatment. “Delay in seeking the correct treatment leads to fixed contractures of joints leading to poor function of the hand,” said Dr Bharath.
Vaishnavi’s parents said, “By God’s grace, the surgery turned out to be a success. Today, we see our daughter enjoying her childhood and leading a normal life like any other child of her age. Our heart swells with joy that finally our prayers have been answered.”...