Chu Saint-Justine: a surgery innovative allows a young person to walk

Chu Saint-Justine: une chirurgie novatrice permet à un jeune de marcher

Dr. Panagiotis Glavas, CHU Sainte-Justine, gives an overview of the complexity of the surgical intervention, which should enable young Charlie to start walking again.

17 January 2020 17h42

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Chu Saint-Justine: a surgery innovative allows a young person to walk

Jean-Benoit Legault

The canadian Press

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MONTREAL — A response edge, and likely unprecedented in paediatric orthopaedic surgery, should enable a young patient at the CHU Sainte-Justine to walk again.

During the surgery performed in may of 2019, Dr. Panagiotis Glavas and his team, in collaboration with a company specializing in solutions for orthopedic, have used a cutting guide printed in three dimensions to work around a serious problem of deviation of the bones of the shins.

The lower limbs of the patient, Charlie, had to be amputated at the middle of the tibia in January 2005, when he was only 18 months old, died of an infection with flesh-eating bacteria. The intervention has saved the life of the child, but the bacteria had had time to infect other cells, including those that are responsible for the growth of certain bones.

The bones of the legs, a limb of the small have then grown through, with an angle abnormal, which made the fixation of the prosthesis difficult and very painful. Charlie was increasingly confined to his wheelchair and had virtually given up any hope of being able to walk again one day.

“There was a three-dimensional deformation at the level of what remains of his leg and could not reconstruct and realign with traditional methods, explained in an interview Dr. Glavas. So we appeal to all the technology that we can have now.”

The surgeons have had recourse to a printer in three dimensions to create a cutting guide — an implant is attached directly to the tibia during the surgery — to reproduce with precision and accuracy the correction determined during a simulation preoperatively.

“We’re going up the slope”

We had also printed out a plate of titanium that would connect the two portions of the tibia left, since no plate is prefabricated would not have been able to adjust to the particular anatomy of Charlie.

“To hopefully restore the ability to walk with a prosthesis, it was necessary to do something to realign her lower limb, says Dr. Glavas. Given that one had not been successful with conventional methods, we turned to this new technology.” In the wake of the success of the first intervention, the right leg of Charlie will be operated on January 21. This technique also offers new possibilities for surgeons.

“I’m starting to use it a little bit more now, given that it has a precision, for the correction of deformities angular, said Dr. Glavas. I think it will become more and more common to implant on measurement, especially in the mode pediatric because children come in all formats. It will help us to be tailor-made for children.”

“I’ve known him for at least seven or eight years,” added the doctor on the subject of Charlie. And for the past seven or eight years, I think we have seen the ups and downs, and there it goes up the slope.”

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