Surgeons in Israel performed a miracle surgery and reattached a boy’s head after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.
Boy Gets Head Reattached
In an extremely rare and complex operation, Hadassah Medical Center surgeons have reattached a teen boy’s head to his neck.
A car hit Suleiman Hassan, a 12-year-old Arab from the Judea and Samaria region, as he rode his bike.
After he was airlifted to Hadassah’s trauma unit, doctors discovered the ligaments holding the rear base of his skull were seriously damaged, leaving it disconnected from the top vertebrae of his spine.
Teen Suffered an “Internal Decapitation”
Suleiman Hassan suffered an internal decapitation. Decapitation is the total separation of the head from the body.
Internal decapitation occurs when sudden impact to the head causes the ligaments and muscles holding the skull in position on the top vertebrae of the spine to tear.
Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem
The injury is very rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of spinal injuries.
Studies suggest that over half of children and adolescents do not survive the condition, also known as bilateral atlanto-occipital joint dislocation.
Doctors Save His Life
“The injury is extremely rare, but we do know that because children between ages four and 10 have heads that are large in relation to their bodies, they are more susceptible than adults,” Dr. Ohad Einav, the orthopedic specialist who led the extremely rare surgery together with Dr. Ziv Asa, said.
“We fought for the boy’s life,” Einav added.
“While in the operating room, we used new plates and fixations in the damaged area. … Our ability to save the child was thanks to our knowledge and the most innovative technology in the operating room.”
Showing no neurologic or motor deficiencies, Hassan was recently discharged from the hospital. Hadassah doctors will continue to monitor him.
“I will thank you all my life for saving my dear only son,” the father told medical staff.
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