Boy's lost arm restored through unique microsurgery.
Grounded and out of school for two months, Esmail Ebrahim, a Class 9 student at a Dubai private school, said he is back in action and even took his second term examinations earlier this month after the surgery.
Esmail's father Abdul Rashid Ebrahim said his son was returning home after a football game when a speeding car knocked him down in Al Quoz. "He suffered multiple fractures in the jaw, arms and legs and was bleeding profusely. An ambulance rushed him to Rashid Hospital. But Alhamdulillah, the able doctors here helped him bounce back."
Dr Khalid Alawadi, consultant plastic and hand surgeon, who operated on Esmail, said 13 cm of the boy's humerus - a long bone in the upper arm running from the shoulder to the elbow - was cut off in the accident as a result of which he had lost the function of his right arm. "But we did a microsurgery and reconstructed the humerus with three flaps taken from the fibula (or calf bone) in the left leg."
He said the microsurgery, done under a microscope, took nine hours. "It is a very delicate process. Harvesting the bone itself took three hours. We had to prepare the blood vessels to maintain blood supply - their diameter was just 1.5 mm and the suture we used was thinner than hair."
Dr Alawadi said the effort was to identify a portion in the fibula, resect 24 cm, of which 13cm had to be fixed to the missing portion in the upper arm. "The challenge in such surgeries is that blood supply to the bone can stop at any time leading to the death of the bone. So close monitoring is necessary. Any congestion on the skin means the patient has to go in for re-surgery."
However, Esmail's operation went off without a glitch.
Last week, Esmail who had come to Rashid Hospital for a follow-up consultation, showed good progress. Dr Alwadi said he was able to recover quickly because of the microsurgery, followed by physiotherapy and that his hand's range of motion was fully restored.
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