On average, it costs $390 for Heak's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
Osteotomy is a surgical procedure used to correct bone abnormalities from trauma or disease. Without treatment, bone fractures or damage to growth plates may heal in angular, rotational, or shortened positions and result in deformity and loss of function. Arthritis is also a common indication for osteotomy, particularly if deformity is involved. Patients with arthritis suffer from pain and stiffness.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Misalignment of the bones not only creates discomfort and pain, but it can also make day-to-day tasks difficult or sometimes impossible. Deformity is also highly stigmatizing.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Due to lack of funds for speedy healthcare or inaccessibility, bone abnormalities are common due to delayed treatment. Cambodians often turn to Khmer traditional healers for bony deformities or even trauma and this also contributes to the development of deformities.
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
Pre-operative assessment with radiology is required to plan the procedure for each case. The surgeon will decide the best location to cut a part of the bone so that it results in an even distribution of weight across the bone or joint. This usually involves cutting out a wedge-shaped piece of bone to realign and adjust the angle at which the bone is positioned. Following correction, rigid internal or external fixation is used to hold the bone in place while it heals.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
Deformity will be corrected, often months or years after its development and patients will immediately notice the benefits. Function will be restored, and pain should subside, which will enable patients to become mobile, undergo daily activities independently, and recommence work to support their families.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
Blood clots are the most common complication of osteotomy procedures, but this can be avoided if patients are encouraged to mobilize early. As for any other surgical procedures, there may be complications such as infection and damage to surrounding nerves or vessels.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
Treatment for bone-related injuries due to trauma or more chronic conditions such as arthritis is available at a local clinics and hospitals at a cost, which many patients may not be able to afford. Patients also often turn to traditional healers which result in unsuccessful treatment. Inadequate or delayed treatment can contribute to bone abnormalities and prolonged suffering.
Patients travel as much as twelve hours to reach Children's Surgical Centre for free surgery, arriving by bus, motorbike, or taxi.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
Traditional medicine is available, but with unsuccessful results.