Haiti: Orthopedic Surgical Program
Second Quarter Orthopedic Surgical Support Program Update
July 30, 2014
Dr. Patrick Dupont
Summary of Activities
RMF continued our Surgical Support Program in Haiti that we had started in 2012, providing complex surgeries and longer term follow up treatment for children and adults suffering from chronic or acquired orthopedic conditions, ranging from congenital deformities to posttraumatic impairments, in many cases caused by the January 2010 earthquake. Over the past two years, generously supported by Child Survival Fund, Real Medicine Foundation has been able to provide specialized orthopedic care and follow up treatment for children and adults who were desperate for treatment of their post-traumatic or congenital ailment, preventing them from thriving or taking care of responsibilities and their families’ needs.
40 people treated
Children and Adults
Provide specialized orthopedic care and follow up treatment for post-traumatic issues or congenital ailment
Children with Blount’s Disease
Lower limb deformity
There were five young children selected who were all affected with a fairly common lower limb deformity known as Blount’s disease, afflicting them with increased weight and specific morphologic features, including moderate to severe progressive medial leg bowing and tibial bone changes.
Dedicated surgical team
and Volunteer surgical advice/expertise
Some of these surgeries were conducted with the help of Dr. Kaye Wilkins, a renowned pediatric orthopedic surgeon from San Antonio, Texas, and longtime collaborator of the Haitian orthopedic surgeon community.
In the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, in addition to tackling some of the immediate relief needs, RMF moved forward with a comprehensive long-term strategy for sustainable health services development in Haiti to help rebuild its shattered public health system. Six years have passed since most of Haiti’s infrastructure was devastated, and while much progress has been made in rubble clearing and somewhat in rebuilding efforts, there is still much work to be done. Our new Surgical Support program is providing surgeries and follow-up treatment for children and adults in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
- To provide free clinical services at Hôpital Lambert Santé Surgical Clinic in Pétion-Ville.
- To provide care for patients with severe conditions and deformities, while focusing on improving their overall health, functionality, and optimizing their chances to thrive as active members of their communities.
- To increase overall access to quality secondary and tertiary care for the entire Haitian population.
Click to enlarge
Josefina Saint-Louis, 8 years old, our second youngest patient, suffered from a moderate right proximal tibia deviation resulting from Blount’s disease, while her other limb was insignificantly affected. With a lateral closed wedge osteotomy, we were able to correct her tibia to offer her a more anatomically aligned lower limb while relieving pressure on her medial growth plate, hopefully impairing the disease’s chance to progress. Josefina, due to her being overweight, a usual component of Blount’s disease, is still in physical therapy and not yet allowed complete weight bearing until her osteotomy has completely healed radiologically.
Julien Edouard, 12 years old, was one of our heaviest young boys in the group, weighing close to 115 kg. A classic textbook case of Blount’s disease (obesity, specific morphotype and bilateral deformity), overweight and having lower limb deformity which impeded significantly his day-to-day activities, prevented him from practicing any sport. We had to address one limb at a time and performed a corrective high tibia valgus osteotomy procedure on his right leg and with some over-correction. Two months after surgery, he was already showing radiologic signs of bone healing. Weight bearing has been allowed already and Julien is very happy with his surgery and the overall appearance of his right leg now. He is hoping that he will have the chance to have his other leg corrected, too, as he is looking forward to being able to practice a sport that he likes very much: soccer!
Stevenson Francois, 16 years old now, is a strapping young teen with a different outlook on life after his two knee surgeries. He underwent his second surgery for bilateral medially deviated legs in mid-2013. His first operation, done more than a year ago on his left leg, has healed with very satisfactory results, both anatomically and functionally.
Very happy with his first procedure, Stevenson is the first of our patients to complete his course of treatment for his bilateral condition as his second proximal tibia osteotomy was done with a bit of over-correction since this deviation was more pronounced on the right side. Now able to stand straighter/more balanced on his feet, Stevenson is looking forward to using his new found legs in sports activities as well as future work endeavors.