Metal joints spell freedom for arthritic woman

Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Margaret (65) had been bedridden for several years

Margaret (65), a resident of Nigeria was bedridden and crippled for the last many years. Suffering from chronic disease rheumatoid arthritis, that leads to inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues, Margaret had been leading a miserable life.

On her feet again: Margaret with Dr Yash Gulati at Indraprastha Apollo
Hospital, in New Delhi. pic/ Mid day

"I had lost all hopes of recovering. Despite several medications and surgeries, I could not even stand. I was dependent on my family for even my daily activities. Not only me, my family was also suffering because of me," said a tearful Margaret.

After consulting a number of doctors, her family finally took her to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. The decision gave her a new lease of life. At the hospital, a multidisciplinary team of doctors decided to go ahead with a decompression and stabilization of her spine and performed replacement surgeries of joints with metallic implants.

Metallic implants have become a viable and handy option for arthritic patients. Doctors say these replacement surgeries give patients freedom from the crippled life of pain and misery. Most patients are able to lead a normal life after the surgery.

Dr Yash Gulati, senior consultant, Orthopaedics, said, "The patient is a known case of rheumatoid arthritis. Last year, she came to the hospital with a problem in her spine and joints. She could barely stand. We decided on sequential surgeries for her. She had both her knees and hips replaced at different times. Three months ago, we performed a left hip replacement surgery and last month her right hip was replaced. Today, the decompression and stabilization of spine with metallic implants along with replaced hips and knees with metallic implants enabled her to stand on her own feet."

But, the doctors also faced few problems while treating her. "The problem that we faced with the patient was her weight. She was overweight. Margaret is a rare case of a person destined to lead a normal life with metal placed all over her body, thus demystifying the myths of metal joints causing problems for a patient," said Dr Gulati.

Margaret underwent three different surgeries over a period of almost seven hours in the last two years. Her last operation was performed on July 2011 and she was mobilized two days post her surgery. The cost of the surgery was Rs 22 lakh.

"I am extremely grateful to doctors and staff at the hospital," said Margaret. "The patient is recovering well and has been completely mobilized. She is now able to make the basic physical movements by herself. Margaret would now be able to lead a normal and healthy life like the rest of us," added Dr Gulati.

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