A traction rod, ropes and a doll — these are among crucial elements being used to treat the fractured leg of 11-month-old Zikra Malik. In the orthopaedic block of Lok Nayak Hospital, bed number 16 has not one, but two “patients” lying down with their legs attached to a traction rod — Zikra and her doll, Pari, being used by doctors to get the toddler to cooperate.
Malik fell off the bed at her residence in Delhi Gate on August 17, fracturing her left leg. The family rushed her to the hospital, where doctors suggested putting her on gallows traction.
Traction, which means ‘steady pulling’, is a method used for children under two years of age. It is a way of treating a fractured shaft of the femur (thigh bone) in children weighing less than 15 kg. The technique is also used to stretch the tendons and muscles within the child’s hip before surgery to treat a dislocated hip.
“Even at home, she is always moving from one place to another and it’s impossible to make her sit down for five minutes. On the first day at the hospital, she wasn’t ready to lie down on the bed. She kept moving and doctors asked us to keep her legs straight for proper alignment. Then I asked my husband to get her favourite doll to the hospital. We just thought of putting Pari in the same position as Zikra — and it worked,” said Fareen, her mother.
The ward now calls her the “gudiya waali bachi (the girl with the doll)”. She has been admitted to the ward for two weeks, and will take another week to recover.
“She feels someone is lying down next to her. Even at home, we would treat the doll in the same manner as her since Zikra considers it her friend,” said her father Mohd Shehzaad, who runs a vegetable shop in Okhla mandi.
Doctors in the hospital were pleasantly surprised when they saw the doll on the toddler’s bed. “The baby girl was crying continuously since the day she was admitted to the hospital. We tried painkillers, got some chocolates for her, but nothing worked. She couldn’t lie down on the bed for even an hour and in this procedure, we need to her to be in the same position for days,” said Dr Ajay Gupta, director, professor, department of orthopaedics, Lok Nayak hospital.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines