12-year-old cancer patient from Bangladesh walks after Indian doctors replace thigh bone

Reported By: Sidharth MP WION
CHENNAI Published: May 19, 2021, 04:12 PM(IST)

The young boy was discharged and able to walk with support, barely five days after surgery. Photograph:( WION )

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Generally, it is said that children diagnosed with this condition don’t survive longer than six months and the only option in the past used to be amputation

Indian doctors successfully performed an eight-hour long procedure to replace the femur (thigh bone) of a 12-year old Bangladeshi boy who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a cancer that affects only the long bones.

According to the doctors, the boy was discharged and is able to walk with support, barely five days after surgery. 

Generally it is said that children diagnosed with this condition don’t survive longer than six months and the only option in the past used to be amputation.

However, with recent advances in treatment, chemotherapy is performed and the cancerous tumour can be shrunk, following which the limb is replaced with a prosthetic one. 

While in the case of a kidney or liver transplant, the organ must be from a donor, in the case of bone transplants, doctors opt for a replacement that is made of a titanium-cobalt-chromium alloy. 

The team that treated the patient said he was able to walk with the support of a single crutch and could walk without support and climb stairs six weeks after discharge. 

The orthopedic surgeon Dr R Sankar of Apollo Hospitals said that this procedure of limb salvage was a less traumatic experience for the young patient and enables limb functionality, as opposed to amputation. 

“This child is going to grow and by the time he’s an adult, we would have to perform 2-3 surgeries to extend the limb and joint, as what we have done is an artificial joint replacement. We can say that with this artificial limb, he can have a good quality of life for nearly 20-25 years,” Dr Sankar told Zee Media when asked about the follow-up treatment.

On the non-Covid cases and emergency surgeries being done at their hospital, Dr Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals group, told WION that about 30 per cent of the cases across their hospitals were non-Covid cases, which were being handled in an area fully separated from the Covid-19 wards

With state-level lockdowns in place, road accident cases have reduced, whereas there is a spike in cases of elderly and children. sustaining fall, fracture injuries at home,  she added.

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