Girl with scoliosis better after operation

PHOTO: Girl with scoliosis better after operation

KUALA LUMPUR - It took Tan Lian Choo a year before she decided to bring her daughter, Wong Wen Qi, to see the doctor who confirmed her back problem. Tan, 46, a housewife, said she noticed that Wong had an abnormal back at the age of 2.

"One side of her buttocks was higher than the other. I wanted to make sure that was the case before I consulted the doctors."

A year later, the doctors confirmed that Wong was suffering from congenital scoliosis.

She was referred to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Cheras here where she was treated for her condition.

As she was undersized, Wong, a first former at SMK Taman Sri Muda, was not operated until she reached bone maturity at 13 this year. Her gait was unbalanced and she had reached 80 per cent curvature of her spine.

Earlier, she was put in a body brace to help stem the problem, but since her curvature was severe, sudden movements such as falling, could crush or pierce her organs, including her lungs.

Her parents were more than willing to consent to her surgery to place a metal implant inside her.

"I was not worried that the surgery could affect her childbearing in later years. I was more concerned that she should be in good health now," said her father, Chee Kin, 43, a salesman.

Tan said she was worried that Wong might not grow taller after the operation as some bones would be affected by the metal implant.

"When the doctors told me that her leg bones would still grow, I consented to the operation.

"Before the operation, she was like a normal child, except that she could not carry heavy things.

"Then she had poor appetite and she was anaemic. Now she has recovered her appetite and eats every two hours," said Tan.

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