New Delhi,

Khushboo, a 9-year-old girl, could not have imagined to have been treated for her tilted neck which was causing her much pain and unbalanced posture. She was facing difficulty performing routine tasks. Despite being from an underprivileged family, her parents left no stone unturned to find a viable treatment option.

Their journey for relief for the child brought them to India Spinal Injuries Center, and to their disbelief, the doctors of the hospital agreed to operate Khushboo free of charge.

“When Khushboo arrived here, she was in much pain due to Torticollis, a condition in which the neck is tilted on one side. It’s very painful, and could be caused by congenital factors or can be acquired due to a nerve or muscle injury. Hers was congenital in nature. An MRI of cervical spine was conducted and even othalmology opinion was taken before surgery to ensure safety of sight. Bipolar release, a surgical procedure for people with such conditions was conducted, and as a result, we achieved full correction of neck deformity. The patient was taught neck stretching exercise post-operation to maintain the correction,” said Dr.Surbhit Rastogi, Consultant Orthopedics, Indian Spinal Injuries Center.

After treatment, Khushboo is now able to turn her head without pain and her posture is improving. Her functional abilities in performing daily tasks are improving as well. She feels normal like other children of her age and feels more accepted by her peers. And all of this was possible because she was

“It is largely believed that corrective surgery for wry neck deformity in children older than 4 years have limited success and the efficacy of the treatment has been debateable, with the results being even worst when the operation is done after puberty and may lead to more complications. However, this case shows that patients with congenital muscular torticollis can benefit from surgical treatment even in adulthood. The surgery restores the range of neck motion and resolves the head tilt; therefore it can improve the quality of life. This procedure is effective but should be performed by utmost care as there is danger of damaging the spinal nerves in the area.” said Dr. H S Chhabra, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

With the world looking to observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, the Indian Spinal Injuries Center has been active in living up to this year’s theme “transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” by taking many initiatives in spreading awareness for spinal cord injuries, conducting international workshops, and most importantly, transforming lives by conducting crucial surgeries and through comprehensive rehabilitation, including conducting surgeries free of cost in many cases for those who could not have afforded it.

In another case where ISIC provided treatment free of cost, Shalini (name changed) a 14-year-oldchild from a Delhi orphanage suffered neck and spine injuries due to a fall from first floor. She had to be put on ventilator and had no movement in her upper and lower limbs. In a span of 9 months post-surgery, comprehensive rehabilitation at ISIC has enabled her to walk with support, read and write again. She rejoined school and got promoted to 9th standard this year. It has been a new beginning to her life.

“Comprehensive rehabilitation remains the key to recovery of a spinal injury patient. This involves multiple therapies from physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial counseling, peer-counseling as well as creating appropriate assistive technology to help the patient lead independent and active lifestyles. Studies have shown that 55% of paraplegic patients are known to have returned to active life We need to put greater thrust on these aspects to help patients get back to fruitful work lives”, said Dr. H S Chhabra

Human negligence and ignored infrastructure are becoming key factors causing falls and slips which lead to severe injuries. India continues to witness high spinal injuries due to vehicular accidents. Also, Indians need to be alert about its aging population. By 2030, India is expected to have 15% of spinal cases in old people. However, with institutions such as ISIC, help will be at hand for those who need it.

“ISIC always believed in transforming lives and we understand our responsibility towards public.  Our efforts are to make people more self-reliant and instil a belief in them. We are happy to have been of help to Khushboo and Shalini and were able to bring joy to their respective families. To see these girls do well, gives all of us more encouragement and motivation. I would also like to congratulate the doctors for their excellent efforts in the case,”said Maj H P S Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.


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