Dubai: Surgery gives smile back to 38-year-old resident suffering from 'cheerleader syndrome'

Healthcare professionals performed a groundbreaking surgery to transform her life with a custom-made jaw


Ashwani Kumar

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 2 Aug 2023, 8:23 AM

Last updated: Wed 2 Aug 2023, 4:42 PM

A groundbreaking surgical procedure has relieved a 38-year-old Egyptian homemaker suffering from a rare and debilitating illness. This condition caused her to suffer from irregular jaw function, tooth loss, and chewing discomfort.

Marwa Alsufi Ramadan, a Dubai resident and mother of two children, battled the condition for decades until a team of multidisciplinary doctors at NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah, successfully performed a groundbreaking TMJ replacement surgery to transform her life and restore her smile with a custom-made jaw.

Since late childhood, Marwa has been enduring 'bilateral idiopathic condylar resorption', a bilateral temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder resulting in discomforting teeth and jaw issues. The condition commonly occurring in teenage girls is called 'cheerleader syndrome'.

Recollecting her years of misery, Marwa shared her distressing experience of living with an irregular jaw, which led to the breaking of several teeth. The condition significantly impacted her ability to chew properly and took a toll on her overall quality of life. Despite seeking treatment earlier, her condition remained undiagnosed and untreated.

During her enduring journey to find an apt treatment, her neighbours recommended NMC Royal Hospital. Hoping to find an effective medical solution, she scheduled an appointment with Dr Shyamsunder Nair, the head of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the hospital.

Dr Nair conducted a comprehensive examination and collaborated with Dr Pramod Subhash, a consultant in craniomaxillofacial surgery, to assess Marwa's jaw condition. They concluded that her medical issue has developed from progressive resorption/erosion of her jaw joints, which changed her bite and facial profile. To address her long-standing condition, they recommended a bilateral TMJ replacement surgery – the procedure aimed to correct the irregular jaw bones, realign the jaw and teeth, and restore proper functioning.

Marwa underwent life-altering surgery. This surgical feat involved custom-made TMJ joints designed using 3D printing technology based on Marwa's CT scan and virtual surgical planning. The surgeons, Dr Nair and Dr Subhash, skillfully implanted the custom joints through small, discreet incisions, relieving Marwa from pain and significantly improving her jaw's functionality and appearance.

A new lease on life

It's been two months since her surgery, and Marwa has been experiencing a remarkable transformation. The surgery alleviated her pain and improved her jaw's mobility and aesthetics. Marwa expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the medical and administrative staff for their exceptional support, care, and top-notch services throughout her journey to recovery. "I can't express my thoughts and feeling in words. I will always remain grateful," she said.

A team of multidisciplinary doctors at NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah
A team of multidisciplinary doctors at NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah

Dr Nair underscored that her case emphasised the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment for conditions like bilateral idiopathic condylar resorption of TMJ, which affects less than 1 per cent of the population.

"This groundbreaking surgery showcases our hospital's commitment to providing innovative medical solutions and enhancing patients' quality of life," Dr Nair said. He praised the medical team's dedication and expertise, emphasising that Marwa's case presented a "new frontier" in the region's medical landscape. "This pioneering achievement opens doors for similar cases and reinforces our hospital's position as a leading healthcare institution in the Middle East," Dr Nair underlined.

Dr Subhash expressed his delight at having helped the patient return to a pain-free normal life.

"Advanced care for TMJ disorders ranging from arthroscopy to total joint replacement with jaw deformity correction is now available at NMC Royal Hospital. We are glad we could help the patient," Dr Subhash added.


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