Chennai

Ordeal ends for 2-year-old from Singapore

Chayce Lee, a two-year-old boy from Singapore, was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him with a very small lower jaw, making it difficult for him to breathe and eat. Now, after treatment at a local hospital, Chayce no longer has problems breathing and his jaw has become almost normal.

“Chayce has Pierre Robin syndrome, leaving him with a very small lower jaw, receding chin and even his tongue was placed further back than normal. This is a very rare condition that affects only 1 in 10,000 live births,” S. M. Balaji, Director, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, said.

To compound matters, a few months after he was born, he had a severe fall, which resulted in his jaw joints fusing to his skull on both sides (called TMJ Ankylosis).

Since the lower jaw is underdeveloped, there was very little space for his tongue, which kept falling back in the throat blocking the airway completely. “In some children with this syndrome, respiratory distress, low blood oxygen and brain damage (due to difficulty breathing) may occur,” Dr. Balaji said.

To correct the problem, the team performed Pediatric Distraction Osteogenesis to increase the length of the lower jaw. “Normally, we would take a bone graft from the ribs or the hip, but since Chayce was so young, his bones were not fully formed, so we had to resort to distraction,” he said.

Pediatric Distraction Osteogenesis involves stretching the bone in small increments to encourage growth of the new bone

Over 50 days, the team achieved around 3 cm of bone growth, and the lower jaw was brought forward.

“After three months, we removed the distractor device, and Chayce will be returning to Singapore with his family soon,” he said, adding that when he turned seven, the jaw bone that was fused to the skull can be surgically corrected.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:52:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ordeal-ends-for-2yearold-from-singapore/article7517636.ece

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