Girl suffered from split cord malformation, a condition seen in 1 out of a lakh
Surgeons at a city hospital performed surgery to correct a spinal cord abnormality on a six-month-old from Iraq.
The infant girl was diagnosed with split cord malformation type 1, which is seen in one out of a lakh persons.
R. Ragavendran, neuro surgeon (brain and spine surgeon) of Kauvery Hospital, said the parents of the baby, Marayam Qasim Hadi, had approached doctors in Iraq as she had a tuft of hair on her lower back. She was diagnosed with the spinal cord abnormality but doctors there said she could not be operated upon.
“When they approached us, we found the child had a slightly longer left leg and bony defect in the spine in the lower back area. The bony spur was felt through the tuft of hair. It had grown through and split the spinal cord along with its covering. It prevented the cord from moving to its final position,” said Dr. Ragavendran.
If left untreated, children with such an abnormality develop difficulty in walking and problems in controlling urine and motion, as they grow older. Mostly, children with this malformation came for treatment only at the age of six or seven, he said. “The four-and-a-half-hour surgery performed on December 17 included removal of the bony spur and reconstruction of the spinal cord covering into a single tube, thereby allowing the spinal cord to move to its original position,” he said.
Post surgery, the baby recovered well and is now moving both legs normally, he said.
Aravindan Selvaraj, director of Kauvery Hospital, said the baby would be discharged next week.