Hadassah extends child’s leg

For his entire life, Bahgat had to wear a shoe with an elevated heel for balance. Not anymore.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dr. Vladimir Goldman with Bahgat
Dr. Vladimir Goldman with Bahgat
Hadassah Hospital

Bahgat Sanaa, 10, from the Bedouin city Rahat, near Beersheba, was born with a rare condition which caused misshapen hands and feet. One leg was also shorter than the other.

For his entire life, Bahgat had to wear a shoe with an elevated heel for balance. Not anymore.

Hadassah doctors have rebuilt his ankle and he’s undergoing a process to give him an extra three and a half inches to make his two legs the same length.

"Bahgat’s rare malformation called tibial hemimelia occurs in one in a million people,” says Dr. Vladimir Goldman, who heads Hadassah’s Service for Pediatric and Adult Limb-Lengthening and Deformity Correction. “Baghat only came to us recently. I was surprised to learn that Bahgat never underwent surgery to treat his malformations or to extend his leg. He had an awful limp and suffered physically and socially.”

Using Bahgat’s own bone from a part of the ankle with excess, Dr. Goldman first fixed the ankle and then began the complex process of limb extension, which is more difficult in a child with a malformation. An innovative device was connected to extend the short leg. Conventional limb extension uses an external brace which the patient has to adjust manually four times daily for many weeks. It’s easy to forget a four-times a day routine, or to misalign it. For Bahgat, Dr. Goldman chose an Israel-developed smart external fixation system called OrthoSpin which Hadassah was among the first medical centers to use.

OrthoSpin is a smart external fixation system which enables real-time physician follow-up and reduces dependency on patient compliance. Comprised of a strut powered by a lightweight motor and a control box placed on top of the circular frame, OrthoSpin’s system automatically and continuously adjusts and lengthens the struts according to Dr. Goldman’s prescribed treatment regimen — without patient involvement.

Dr. Goldman programs the exact data for his small patient into the device, which automatically makes the adjustments and gives feedback in real time.

"To our delight, we were able to surgically restore the ankle so that the device fit Bahgat perfectly. The process is working, and I’m looking forward to a future when I see Bahgat walking to school with his friends and even taking part in class hiking trips. It’s wonderful!”