Spine Surgery – Bone Graft from the Mother Repairs Newborn’s Fracture

According to Dr. Deepak Gupta, a neurosurgeon at AIIMS Trauma Centre, a neonate suffered a severe spinal injury during a normal delivery due to his large size and the presence of his mother's gestational diabetes. The injury resulted in a pinched nerve in his shoulder and a fractured spine around his neck. 

The baby had trouble breathing and was kept on oxygen in the ICU before being sent home. However, his breathing issues persisted. His parents consulted a specialist who suspected a spinal injury. After confirming their fears through an MRI, the parents sought treatment at AIIMS, where Dr. Gupta researched medical journals and consulted experts worldwide to find a solution. 

Since the infant was only four months old, traditional treatment with titanium implants was not an option. Dr. Gupta discovered a similar case in the US involving a baby with a less severe injury whose rib bone was used for repair. But in this case, the extensive damage made rib bone repair impossible. Therefore, Dr. Gupta considered using the mother's bone instead. 

Surgery was essential to relieve the respiratory distress of the infant. A bone graft from the mother's hip was used to stabilize the damaged part of the infant's spine. The complex surgery lasted 15 hours, including seven hours for anesthesia administration to the infant. The surgical team included specialists in neuro anesthesia, neurophysiology, pediatrics, and general surgery.

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