Congress of Neurological Surgeons Members Successfully Operate on Baby Born with Four Legs, Two Spines


Schaumburg, Ill, April 4, 2017 — Members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) were integral in performing a successful and complex surgery on a baby from West Africa born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Now 10 months old, Dominique was born with a parasitic rachipagus twin. The waist, legs, and feet of her not-fully-developed twin’s body extended from Dominique’s neck and back, while also being conjoined at the spine. Without surgical intervention, Dominique’s internal organs would need to function for two bodies, shortening her lifespan.

Children’s Medical Mission West, an Ohio-based organization providing charity across the globe, contacted Dr. John Ruge, CNS member and pediatric neurosurgeon at Advocate Children’s Hospital, for his expertise in this particular subspecialty of neurological surgery.

“The fact that the twins were conjoined at the spine makes Dominique’s condition exceedingly unique and rare,” Ruge said.

A multidisciplinary team of five surgeons created a model of Dominique’s two spines and worked together to create the most promising and effective approach. This team also included pediatric neurosurgeon and CNS member Dr. Robert Givens Kellogg, and additional spine and plastic surgeons. They sought consultations and guidance from a vast array of specialists, including pediatricians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and more, to create a comprehensive plan of action.

On March 8, Dominique entered surgery and within six hours, the team removed the conjoined twin. She was discharged from the hospital just five days later with an excellent prognosis.

For more information about CNS, its members, and the impact of their care, visit For more information about Dominique and Advocate Children’s Hospital, visit


About the Congress of Neurological Surgeons

The Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) is the global leader in neurosurgical education, serving to promote health by advancing neurosurgery through innovation and excellence in education. The CNS provides leadership in neurosurgery by inspiring and facilitating scientific discovery and its translation into clinical practice. The CNS maintains the vitality of the profession through volunteer efforts of its members and the development of leadership in service to the public, to colleagues in other disciplines, and to neurosurgeons throughout the world in all stages of their professional lives. For more information, visit

Related Content

No related content.