JJ hospital doctors perform spine reconstruction surgery on 14-year-old boy
Akshay Bhavsar, a Nashik resident, was born with a hump on his back. In the last few years, his spine started growing abnormally, said his father, Santosh, and he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis — a non-cancerous condition where tumours are formed in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves
Mumbai: A 14-year-old boy who lost his mobility and was left bedridden for a few months due to a genetic disorder was able to get back on his feet after doctors at JJ hospital successfully performed a spine reconstruction surgery on him.
Akshay Bhavsar, a Nashik resident, was born with a hump on his back. In the last few years, his spine started growing abnormally, said his father, Santosh, and he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis — a non-cancerous condition where tumours are formed in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
“Neurofibromatosis is not very uncommon but, in his case, the deformity caused is very rare,” Dr Dheeraj Sonawane, his primary orthopaedic surgeon at JJ Hospital, said. “His father is a carrier of the gene, and he is fine, but in Akshay’s case, the disorder led to severe deformity.”
“Both his heart and lung function were compromised because of the spine deformity. It was one of the biggest challenges for the surgery too,” said Dr Sonawane.
A team of five spine-orthopaedic surgeons, including Dr Ajay Chandanwale, joint director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, planned his surgery with the help of a 3D plastic model of his whole spine. “We took a CT scan, MRI, and special X-rays and prepared the 3D model. A week before his surgery, we sat and worked out the plan. The model helped us to plan the bone cuts we need to take on the spine and place the screw,” said Dr Sonawane.
Early morning of January 25, Akshay went in for a five-hour long surgery, where the doctors reconstructed the spine by breaking the spinal column at 11 levels to get a correction of the severely bent spine, with the help of 20 spine screws and three metal rods. Dr Sonawane said 100gms of extra bone was brought from Tata Hospital, Parel’s bone bank for a better bony fusion.
“We found that the spinal cord was severely compressed between the abnormal spine vertebra, which we released during the surgery. Post-surgery, Akshay has shown good signs of recovery of weakness, sensation of legs, and returning control of urine and bowel. We are sure that he will be able to walk soon,” said Dr Chandanwale.
With Akshay being discharged in a couple of days, Santosh, a farmer by profession, said he is happy to see his son able to sit, move his leg, and regain all his lost sensations. “It has been a few months since he was completely bedridden. We had visited a few local hospitals and had lost hope before coming to JJ Hospital. We are happy that he is not only independent but can go back to school and lead a normal life,” he said.