Doctors Successfully Remove Extra Leg from a Boy, 1, Who Had 3 Legs in Rare 6-Hour Surgery

A young boy's life was changed after doctors in Ludhiana were able to remove an extra leg from his back after a long surgery.

In Ludhiana, doctors performed a remarkable six-hour surgery to remove a one-year-old boy's extra leg. The third limb was growing from his back and was caused by a birth defect called tripod deformity.

The Hindustan Times stated that the deformity is an additional rudimentary leg growing from the back, besides the two normal legs. The third limb is neurologically connected. However, it is weaker than the other limbs. 

A young child wearing a mask holding a teddy bear. | Photo: Shutterstock

A young child wearing a mask holding a teddy bear. | Photo: Shutterstock

The operation for the Haibowal boy took place at a hospital in Model Town in Ludhiana and was performed by a team of four doctors. The young boy then underwent observation at the pediatric ICU, where he is recovering.

According to the outlet, the young boy comes from a low-income family of laborers. A city-based NGO helped get the child to the hospital and covered the surgery expenses, which amounted to  ₹1.25 lakh, almost $1700.

A teddy bear on a hospital bed. | Photo: Pixabay/Mylene2401

A teddy bear on a hospital bed. | Photo: Pixabay/Mylene2401

The Ludhiana doctors reasoned that the congenital disability was caused by a parasitic Siamese twin. The body would have degenerated in the womb, leaving the limb behind, which fused to the back of the remained twin.

Interestingly enough, other children have experienced this rare birth defect.

Deep Hospital director Dr. Baldeep Singh explained that an MRI of the boy's extra leg showed various leg bones, femur, tibia, fibula, and a knee joint.  However, it also had other lower limb bones, but they were abnormal. 

After the MRI was conducted, a panel of expert doctors decided that the limb should be amputated. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Yamin explained that the surgery had to be conducted extremely carefully because the extra limb was connected to the spinal cord and had nerves. 

Due to the surgery's complexity, a multi-disciplinary approach was used. Dr. Singh, Dr. Yamin, neurosurgeon Dr. RK Kaushal and senior plastic surgery consultant Dr. Ravindra Tah were a part of the surgical team. 

A stethoscope on a appointment book. | Photo: Pixabay/Darko Stojanovic

A stethoscope on a appointment book. | Photo: Pixabay/Darko Stojanovic

Dr. Kaushal explained the life-changing procedure and said, " The MMC [an associated meningomyelocele] was repaired, and the nerve connections to the accessory leg were detached carefully, sparing the nerve fibers of the normal lower extremities." 

Interestingly enough, other children have experienced this rare birth defect, including a boy from Xinjiang, northwest China, and a girl from Bangladesh. 

The young girl named Choity Khatun flew to Australia for surgery with assistants from a charity called Children First Foundation. The daunting surgery took place at Monash Children's Hospital in Victoria by a team of Australian doctors. 

While Ma Yongfei was treated at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in Fudan University, both children's surgeries were successful, although they may need more corrective surgery in the future. 

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