“The recovery is very good, the walking time with braces can be extended gradually, and more attempts to do lower limb rehabilitation.”
On the morning of February 26th, Professor Li Feng of Tongji Hospital was giving a second visit to a patient suffering from a rare spinal tumor via video link.
At the other end of the video, Sarah, a 16-year-old girl wearing a thoracic brace, walks slowly through her bedroom, guarded jealously by her mother.
Sarah, south Asian, with parents living in China for many years, at the end of January, Sarah suddenly feel back pain after motion, over the next few days, two legs slowly begin to have no energy, hypesthesia, muscles sometimes uncontrolled shivering, Sarah’s parents are very nervous, take her to the local hospital for treatment immediately, identified as tumour grew on the spine.
At the beginning of February, they came to Wuhan with imaging data to see Professor Li Feng.
Professor Li Feng thinks that what small Sara gets is a kind of relatively rare invasive thoracic hemangioma, it is a kind of rapid development in vertebral hemangioma, injury is larger.
Given little Sarah hemangioma has to the growth of spinal canal, the patient began to appear loss muscle control, sensory nerve damage, professor li suggest that treatment with surgery as soon as possible, will be cut off by a tumor destruction of vertebral body and attachments, and reconstruction with artificial material, otherwise will progress to become irreversible nerve damage, resulting in paralysis.
Her parents were worried that the surgery wouldn’t remove the tumor, that it might damage the nerves and that little Sarah would never be able to stand.
Using a model of the spine, Li introduced them to the basic procedure of the operation and showed them videos of patients recovering from similar operations in the past.
After listening to Professor Li Feng’s explanation, Sarah’s parents decided that little Sarah’s surgery was done in Tongji Hospital orthopedic department.
On February 8th, Professor Li Feng performed a total thoracic vertebrae resection +3D printing artificial vertebrae weight construction operation for little Sarah, which lasted 5 hours and 20 minutes. The damaged vertebrae and appendages were completely removed, and all the nerves were preserved.
The second day after the operation, little Sarah’s legs strength has been significantly restored, the muscles did not tremble, back pain is much better, and can even wear a thoracic braces out of bed to walk.
Her parents are also overjoyed to see their daughter recover well from the successful surgery.
On February 15, little Sarah was discharged from the hospital and began home recovery.
“In addition to the pain in the lower back, numbness and sensitivity of the body or limbs, muscle weakness, and dysfunction of urine and bowel function are typical symptoms of spinal tumors. Once present, spinal examination should be done as soon as possible in order to make a clear diagnosis and timely treatment.”
“Surgery is currently the rapid and effective main treatment for patients who have symptoms of nerve compression that have progressed rapidly,” said Li Feng.
It is understood that the orthopedic department of Tongji Hospital is a national key clinical specialty, Hubei orthopedic medical quality control center, Hubei spinal surgery clinical medical research center, Hubei Provincial Association of orthopedic branch chairman unit, is one of the leading spinal disease diagnosis and treatment centers in China.
The Department of Orthopedics, the Department of Radiation Oncology, and the Department of Imaging Interventional Medicine of Tongji Hospital have formed a multidisciplinary clinical medical team, which is at the international advanced level in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal tumors.