Fifteen-year-old Chinese teenage boy, named Fu Wengui, was born with an unusually long neck. Doctors who examined him say that this anatomical quirky condition is due to the fact that he has more vertebrae than what is considered normal.
It appears Fu Wengui was born with a number of spinal conditions, including scoliosis, but the most startling is his long neck, which accommodates for as many as 10 vertebrae. By comparison, regular people have only 7 vertebrae in their necks, say specialists.
The boy's 50-year-old father Fu Genyou in an interview explained he does not want doctors to do their best to shorten his son's neck only to look normal and fit in. On the contrary, Fu Genyou said that the boy needs this surgery for medical reasons.
At the age of six, Wengui was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and an abnormal chest frame. Congenital scoliosis, wherein a person's spine takes a bow shape or is curved from side to side, forms very early in fetal development, usually within six week of conception. While scoliosis can be treated in a straightforward procedure involving titanium implants to straighten the spinal column, the procedure involved in straightening Wengui's neck can be rather complex.
The teenager has often complained excruciating pain, especially when he attempts to walk. "This happens because the extra vertebrae toy with his nerves. He always causes a stir whenever he goes out," said Wengui's father.
The procedure to remove the excess vertebrae is considered highly invasive, involving the replacement of the bone with a metallic cage, as well as very expensive. In fact, 15-year-old Fu Wengui would be a long way from receiving treatment for his condition, had it not been for a local charity that volunteered to pay for the procedure.
The sponsorship has helped, specialists at Chao-Yang Hospital to begin their tests and expect that these investigations will help them settle on the best course of treatment. Fu Wengui, on the other hand, just wants the entire affair to be over as soon as possible. "I just hope I can have a normal neck," he said.