ROMAC New Zealand helps a young athletic teenager become pain free

Megan-Otukolo Thirteen-year-old Megan Otukolo arrived with her mother Koleti on Wednesday July 13th, from the island of Vava’u, Tonga for treatment in Southern Cross Hospital, Hamilton, by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Richard Willoughby.

Treatment required assessment of the previous trauma to Megan’s left hip and the screw that had been placed in the hip to remedy the initial trauma. The screw was found to be impinging on the acetabular rim limiting movement, creating a poor fit resulting in the head of the femur becoming misshapen over time, and causing constant pain. The resulting limited movement restricted participation in sports that Megan enjoyed.

At the outset it was unsure how complicated the corrective surgery may be and therefore how long Megan and her mother would be required to stay in New Zealand. Megan had a scan the day after she arrived and was seen by the surgeon on Sunday ahead of her surgery on Monday July 18th. The whole team were working in a tight timeframe.

Megan-Otukolo-HamiltonThe pre-operative scan identified a potentially simple problem and fix, and the subsequent surgical operation went very well. The screw was removed and debridement of the femoral CAM was undertaken to return the femoral head to the correct shape and to fit better in the socket. The increased range of motion immediately improved significantly.  Megan was discharged the day after her operation on crutches with instructions to manage pain and weigh bear with the use of crutches.  Post operatively Megan attended a physiotherapy session on July 26th and a follow up appointment with the surgeon is scheduled for Tuesday August 4th. It is anticipated that she will be winging her way home shortly after this.

Megan and her mother were initially hosted by a non-Rotarian family in Hamilton, due to the short notice, prior to being placed in accommodation owned and generously provided by Pat Baker, Rotarian from Hamilton Rotary Club. Fellow Rotarian, Rowena Eaves, facilitated hosting and tending to family needs while other members of the Hamilton Rotary community have pitched in to provide pastoral care and make the family feel welcome. These include Assistant Governor, Mike Cahill and Past District 9930 ROMAC Representative, Colin Sanderson who is no longer involved in Rotary but he and his wife Rosalie still take an active interest in ROMAC activities. Colin provided much appreciated support in transporting Megan and Koleti to Hamilton on the night of their arrival in Auckland. Metui Tafuna has provided a much appreciated link to the Tongan community in Hamilton while Megan and Koleti are in New Zealand.

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