(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A timely surgical intervention recently saved the arm of a 40-year-old Indian driver working with a company in Ras Al Khaimah from amputation.
Gobardhan Reddy got a new lease of life after encountering a major accident which could have left him with lifelong disability and dejection. However, the orthopaedic department at the RAK Hospital efficiently combined vacuum therapy with an external fixator to fix the fractures.
On February 27 this year, Reddy was run over by a car at work. Both his arms were affected, resulting in a fracture of the right wrist and a crush injury with open fractures of the left arm.
Dr J.M. Gauer, head of the surgery department at the RAK Hospital, told Khaleej Times on Saturday that the injury to Reddy's left arm was stabilised by an external fixator.
"Since the skin of the underarm was missing, the wounds could not be closed. Due to the primary contamination of the wound at the site of the accident, a severe infection occurred complicating the situation."
Though the situation reached a point where amputation could have been the only way out, the situation was brought under control by using vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy; however the method was combined with an external fixator for the first time.
Head of the department of orthopaedic surgery Dr John Bera said VAC is a simple but effective method to promote rapid wound-healing. "In recent years, it has been shown to be an effective therapy for the management of large, complex, acute wounds as well as chronic wounds that have failed to heal by conventional methods."
"The VAC therapy utilises an open-cell polymer foam dressing that is conformed to the wound bed. When sealed and placed under negative (vacuum) pressure, the system creates a unique wound-healing environment that has been shown to promote the healing process, reduce edema, prepare the wound bed for closure, promote the formation of granulation tissue and remove infectious materials," he explained.
Dr Gauer said the infection rapidly subsided with the use of VAC therapy. New, healthy tissue grew and after four weeks the arm was grafted with skin. "Finally, the patient was discharged on June 3 and was naturally delighted not to have lost his arm, which would have meant the end of his career as driver."
"However, he still needs follow-up treatment with intensive physiotherapy, but it is certain, that he will be able to return to work and provide for his family eventually," he added.
Gobardhan Reddy said he still couldn't believe his eyes when he looked at his hands. "When I first realised what had happened to me, I almost lost all hopes."