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Sixteen-year-old girl with kypho-scoliosis is operated At Rizzoli of Bologna

In the US that type of surgery costs more than 1 million of dollars

March 1st, 2023

A new life for Linda (invented name), four months ago in November 2022, she leaved the surgery room of Rizzoli Orhopaedic Institute of Bologna after the surgerical operation provided by Spine Surgery team, directed by Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini.

Seven hours lasted surgery to return the back to the natural position as severely affected by a combination of scoliosis and kyphosis (kypho-scoliosis). The surgery increased the height of the girl by 15 centimeters and it eliminated the causes of years of pain and progressive limitations to movements and ever higher risks of impairment of vital organs.

"The surgery was complex and delicate - explains Gasbarrini - because the curvature was able to bend the spine by 90 degrees: you have to imagine the column that is normally straight and instead in the middle of the back it deviates to form a right angle. Beside this there was also a further deviation of the bone bent forward in the ribcage".

Il Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini con Linda dopo l'intervento
Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini with Linda after the surgery

During the surgery, a thoracic vertebra was removed and screws and metal rods were inserted into the nearby vertebrae to keep them in the correct position. The removed vertebra was replaced with a titanium vertebral prosthesis.

"The risk of paralysis was very high because of the deviation in the upper part of the column, where the medulla has little space, and the important scars also in contact with the marrow itself left by previous interventions to which the patient had been subjected before arriving at Rizzoli - continues Gasbarrini. - This is why the work of the team of anesthesiologists, physiopathology technicians and nurses was essential together with the vertebral surgeons: without their skills, operations like this would not be possible. And when I received the 'before and now' selfie, we shared a moment of special intensity."

Prima e dopo l'intervento

Upon the arrival in the ward, after five days in the intensive care post surgery, Linda was able to stand up: the rehabilitation course immediately began, then continued at home. Today the rehabilitation consist of only two sessions a week, because Linda has recovered the full functionality having the body accustomed to the new anatomy of the back, while before being operated she also struggled to wash her hair alone.  

"To make a surgerical operation like this in the United States of America it takes over a million dollars - specifies the General Director of the Rizzoli Anselmo Campagna. - It may seems incredible but we have seen the estimates made to our patients by North American centres before arriving at Rizzoli, a public research hospital. 
The purpose of our Institute is precisely this: guarantee to everyone who needs it the excellence of care, achieved through research and specialization, which is able to respond to the most critical situations


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