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Story 3 – Mok Ho Cheung

Mok Ho Cheung is a boy afflicted with a number of health issues. He is suspected to have neurofibromatosis.  It consists of a set of distinct genetic disorders that causes tumors to grow along various types of nerves. This disorder can also affect the development of non-nervous tissues such as bones and skin while it can cause tumors to grow anywhere on or in the body.

As he was followed up by pediatricians in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, he also had an extra-dural hydrocephalus for which neurosurgeons monitored closely by regular scan of his brain. Hydrocephalus is known as “water on the brain”, or the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. This disorder can permanently damage the brain, causing problems with physical and mental development. If untreated, it is usually fatal.

For the orthopaedic problem, he had scoliosis. This was asymptomatic until late 2011 when his mother started to notice that he has to put his hands on the waist after standing a little longer. He walked with an awkward gait because of his curved spine. As a result he also stood with his shoulders listing to the left. As measured by Cobb’s angle, his most tilted vertebrae (T7-L2) reached 70°. A brace was given to him as a temporary measure, but it was neither inadequate nor satisfactory in curve control.

Ho Cheung was inserted with a growing rod on 22 October 2012. The remote of the rod device can modify the length of the growing rod and it extended to 8.5mm long. Unfortunately Ho Cheung suffered from inflammation during the treatment and his growing rod had to be removed after he had seven elongation sessions. The spine curvature was improved from 70° to 37° before his rod removal surgery. The surgery took place on 14 November 2013 and Ho Cheung could only wear braces since then. The curvature has worsened to 55° therefore his doctor has scheduled him for inserting 2 new growing rods on 28 July 2014.