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Faridabad: Mother, son with broken spine and neck saved after complex surgery

Doctors at a Haryana hospital not only managed to save the lives of mother and son who had been severely injured in a terrible car accident but also saved them from permanent disability.

55-year-old Rukmani Devi and her 21-year-old son Neeraj, residents of Faridabad, were driving in Noida at 1:30 am when a dumper truck fell on their car, crushing the two occupants.

The car was badly mangled, and to onlookers, it seemed like a miracle that anyone was left alive in the vehicle. The mother and son were rushed to the Sarvodaya Hospital, Sector-8, Faridabad, within two hours of the accident.

Both were in a bad shape when brought to the hospital. The young man had severe chest and back pain. He was diagnosed with clots in the lung with a fractured D10 vertebra with compression on the spinal cord. He had to be taken to surgery immediately as any more delay would have led to permanent paralysis of both his legs.

According to the hospital, the mother had weakness in the right arm and severe neck pain. She was diagnosed with a fracture and dislocation of cervical spine (neck). If not operated upon immediately, she would have suffered permanent paralysis of her arms and legs. There was an additional risk of loss of breath and a drop in blood pressure.

Dr Kamal Verma, Director, Neurosurgery, Sarvodaya Hospital, Sector-8, Faridabad, said that the young man’s surgery involved exposing the spine with multiple fractures.

“The broken vertebra was fixed, and the spinal cord decompressed. Due to multiple fractures in the spine, there was a lot of blood loss during surgery. We used neuro-navigation guidance so that the implants could be positioned accurately and safely without risk of injury to the spinal cord. The patient did well after surgery and he was made to walk just a day later. He will go on to lead a normal life after wearing a back support orthosis for a month,” Dr Verma explained.  

“The mother’s surgery involved removing the spinal disc at the C6-7 level. The bones were brought together and pressure over the spinal cord removed. The bones were then fixed using a titanium cage and plate/screws. The patient did well after surgery and was able to walk in less than 12 hours post operatively. She is expected to heal completely and live a normal life,” Dr Gaurav Kesri, Consultant, Neurosurgery, Sarvodaya Hospital, said.

Dr Kesri pointed out that it is very critical to shift patients with spine injuries to the hospital as soon as possible. In this case, both the patients getting received at the hospital within two hours of the accident helped the surgeons get a positive outcome.

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