Ethiopia: Day One

Source: Blog Post

With the Friday/Saturday course behind us, we were ready to start our clinical work with a clinic screening day. The staff at Cure Hospital graciously agreed to work on a Sunday and welcomed us with open arm and warm smiles. The 5th mission to Ethiopia resembled a family reunion.

We saw a pre-screened group 69 patients interesting patients and selected 17 for surgery in the upcoming week; 4 to book for our 2020 trip; and another 10 patients for whom we confirmed operative plans that the local team of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons will carry out after we’ve gone or in preparation for next year. The patient's children had been screened by Richard Gardner, MD (Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon) to optimize the day. The patients were evaluated one by one with THP physicians (Duretti Fufa and Scott Kozin), Cure orthoapedic and plastic surgeons (Richard Gardner, Tewodros Teshalun, Mesfin Etsub, and Tesfaye Mulat), along with trainees (Aguer Ayuel (PGY 3), Teshome Tena (PGY 4), Aderaw Getie (PGY 4), Tekalign Tsegay (Fellow)). This approach maximized the patient’s evaluation, allowed development of a specific treatment plan, and fostered education/ teaching. 

The clinic day was full of interesting cases of congenital difference, brachial plexus palsy, burn contracture and neglected trauma.

A particularly memorable case booked from clinic for our first operative day was this 4 year old boy who developed ischemic contracture at 8 months of age while admitted to a hospital outside Addis Ababa for gastroenteritis. A tourniquet was accidentally left on his arm for 3 days after placing an IV resulting in this clinical picture.

After scar release, tenolysis and ulnar artery perforator flap, his MPs passed into flexion and wrist came to neutral with nicely resurfaced dorsal skin.