Arannya Adhakary, 18 months old, was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis when he was just 3 months of age. He was the youngest patient treated during Operation Straight Spine 2017.
Congenital scoliosis occurs when part of a vertebra fails to form or several vertebra fail to separate during fetal development. Patients may have a single abnormality or multiple defects throughout the spine.
Arannya’s congenital spine defect was known as a hemivertebra. This occurs when the shape of the vertebra is triangular instead of the normal rectangular shape. Hemivertebra typically causes a severe and progressive deformity of the spine as the child grows, usually a kyphosis or scoliosis.
Hemivertebra are best treated at an early age by removing the abnormal vertebra, correcting the deformity and fusing the growth plates above and below the hemivertebra so the deformity does not recur. Arannya’s hemivertebra was located at the 11th thoracic vertebra, approximately in the middle of his spine. Arannya’s surgery consisted of removal of the T11 hemivertebra, correction of the local kyphosis and scoliosis, and limited fusion from T10 to T12. To stabilize the spine and help fuse where the hemivertebra was removed, two small screws and a single 3.5mm diameter rod was placed from T10 to T12 on the right side.
Arannya did amazingly well after surgery, a testament to his young age, and by the 4th postoperative day was going on walks in the courtyard, smiling, carried in his mother’s arms.