Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-03-29 20:14 Bengaluru: Gaganashree’s parents had lost hope of seeing their daughter walk normally like any other 13-year-old girl. She had a deformity in her lower limbs – a genetic disorder – which restricted her from putting a step forward. But their visit to Fortis Hospital here, rekindled their hopes and today, Gaganashree can barely contain her joy when she moves her limbs, slowly. Dr Mohan Puttaswamy, Consultant Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgeon at Fortis hospital said, "The child and parents were disheartened when they visited us. However, after diagnosing Gaganashree, we realised that this deformity is 'Spondylo Epiphyseal Dysplasia' and it could be treated.” Spondylo epiphyseal dysplasia is a rare genetic disorder characterised by the malformation of the growing ends of the long bones.The deformity can involve spine, hips and knees, said the doctor. "In this case, the deformity was found in knees, thigh-bones as well as the leg bones resulting in difficulty in walking. Stiffness and diminished joint mobility at the knees, elbows, and hips may develop over time. But the girl's condition was terrible as she was not only short in stature, but she also had ligament dysfunction in the knee joints. The surgery was planned in such a way that the growing ends of the bones should be preserved and the ligaments in the knees would be tightened, ” added Dr Mohan. He further said that the surgery was challenging and lasted for six hours. A special technique called open-closed wedge was adopted so that the length of the right thighbone was not decreased. In the left leg too, a similar strategy was used to avoid shortening of the limb and both her legs were straightened. The loose ligaments in the knee joints were tightened to enable her to walk with stability. Hemant, elder brother of Gaganashree says, “She would rarely get out of the house. Since her legs were not straight and almost crossed, it was difficult for her to walk.” JV Shrinivas, Director of Department of Orthopedics, Fortis Hospitals, said, “Such cases are found only one in ten thousand people. These cases are higher in number especially in weaker sections of the society. However, the surgery is affordable for middle class family as it costs between Rs 50, 000 and Rs one lakh.” Since its a genetic disorder, it should be diagonised at early stage and treated, he added. Speaking to Bfirst.in, elated Gaganashree said, “I did not face any problem till I was three years old. However, I could notice the problem when I was in UKG and later, I had trouble walking. I feared that I could not walk again. But, the doctors have given me a new lease of life.” Gaganashree who quit school six months ago, has written her ninth exam. While her father works at a private factory, her mother is a home-maker.