A surgery to fill a spinal gap with leg bones has been performed for a 5-year-old girl suffering from a rare disorder called spinal segmental dysgenesis.
Rosie Davies from Mallsall, West Midlands, was born lacking five of her spinal bones causing a 10-centimeter gap in her back. The disorder meant the upper part of her body along with her inner organs had no support to lay on and they would have soon crushed, killing her.
Doctors decided that Rosie's legs, distorted up her waist in an almost complete immobility, could save her life, Digital Journal reports.
In a 13-hour surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital, the part of Rosie's legs from the knee down was amputated and used to repair the gap in her spine.
The surgery is the first of its kind to be performed in Europe and the second in the world, after another similar operation was successfully completed in 2002 in a New Zealand hospital.
“We are delighted with the results of this operation,” declared Guirish Solanki, consultant neurosurgeon at the Birmingham Children's Hospital.
“This is only the second time in the world that a surgical team has attempted to fix the thoracic spine to the hip side bones for a condition as rare as Rosie's.”
Doctors said that, besides Rosie's spinal repair, signs of sensation returning to her legs were noted, a phenomenon which suggests the girl could someday be able to walk on prosthetic legs.
Rosie's parents were extremely pleased with the results and grateful to the doctors.
“Before she was basically a timebomb - we never knew how long it would take to go off, we never knew how long we actually had with her,” her father Scott said.
“Since having the op she has now had her life expectancy increased to that of a normal child.”