A 30-year-old man successfully undergoes hip replacement surgery, gets rid of severe pain after 8 years of struggle

15 March,2024 11:32 AM IST |  New Delhi  |  mid-day online correspondent

The patient was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and had been reliant on painkillers for the past 8 years. After the surgery, he can walk, sit, exercise, play cricket, ride a bike, and travel without any hindrance or discomfort

Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

A successful hip replacement surgery was performed on a 30-year-old man from Delhi, under the guidance of Dr Pankaj Walecha, a specialist hip and knee surgeon at Apollo Spectra in Delhi, as he was suffering from excruciating pain in his right hip and knee. The patient was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and had been reliant on painkillers for the past eight years. After the surgery, he is now able to walk, sit, exercise, play cricket, ride a bike, and travel without any hindrance or discomfort.

Souvik Dasgupta, a working professional from Delhi, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) during his teenage years. He was on painkillers for the last eight years. He had been enduring pain and the only way to manage his life was by consuming painkillers regularly. Following the pandemic in 2021, he was asked to resume office. However, he experienced severe pain in his right hip and knee while ascending stairs and was forced to quit his job. Unable to walk, he sought medical advice through teleconsultations where it was discovered that his right hip joint and its cartilage were damaged due to JRA. He came across Dr Pankaj Walecha and decided to consult him for further intervention.

Dr Pankaj Walecha, a specialist hip and knee surgeon at Apollo Spectra in Delhi said, "On detailed check-up, the patient experienced severe pain when raising their right leg, coupled with a restricted and painful rotation of the right hip. The ability to cross the legs was lost, and sitting down posed a challenge. Moreover, a limp was evident in his gait and the right leg seemed shorter compared to the left one. Relevant blood tests were done to identify the cause of the damaged hip joint. It was found that he has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), a type of rheumatoid arthritis that can start as early as the age of 13-14 years and that's why it's called juvenile RA. In many patients, it involves the eyes (Uveitis) as well. Hip X-rays were done to assess the damage to the bone and to plan the treatment. After a detailed discussion, the patient decided to undergo total hip replacement surgery last year. The anesthesia doctors did a detailed pre-surgery check-up to ensure patient safety."

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"Hip joint is a ball and socket type of joint and in any kind of advanced arthritis just like JRA, the ball and socket both are damaged. Total hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which the damaged ball and socket both are replaced. Most commonly used implants are uncemented (where the implant integrates with the bone) and are made up of titanium. Currently, uncemented ceramic on highly cross-linked poly is one of the best implants for hip replacement surgery and is commonly used for hip implants. In advanced stages of hip arthritis, hip replacement surgery is the only treatment. Waiting or postponing the surgery only prolongs the agony. However, if diagnosed in early stages then with proper medications for Rheumatism, joint damage can be prevented," said Walecha.

"Well-performed hip replacement surgery also equalises the leg length discrepancy in the majority of the patients. That's what was done for Souvik as well. The surgery lasted for nearly an hour. Souvik was made to walk within a few hours of surgery initially with support and within a few days, he was able to walk without any support. He was discharged from the hospital after two days of surgery. He was also given physiotherapy by a team of trained physiotherapists to make him recover faster. Usually. patients need physio for 3-6 weeks depending upon their pre-surgery muscle weakness. Post-surgery, the patients are not only able to walk but are pain-free and can sit on the floor, exercise, play low-impact games, ride a bike, and travel without any hindrance. Most of the patients can work in the gym with some precautions suggested according to the complexity of the case after 3 months of recovering from the surgery. Not all the patients are allowed all the movements after hip replacement surgery as it also depends upon the patient's disease and damage caused by it," underlined Walecha.

"In the last 20 years, we have done more than 5,000 surgeries. With the use of modern surgical techniques like MIS (minimally invasive surgery) patients make a very good recovery in minimum time. Pain shouldn't be a part of anybody's daily life. Taking painkillers regularly can damage the kidneys and other internal organs and is not at all a long-term solution. Any disease gets cured when the root cause of the problem is treated. All the patients of JRA or any other inflammatory arthritis like ankylosing spondylitis are advised to take medical treatment with our rheumatology team even after a successfully performed hip replacement. This is to keep the disease under control and also to prevent the damage to other joints of the body," said Walecha.

"The diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) was a devastating blow as it turned my life upside down. I had been oblivious to it until the unbearable pain made even the simplest tasks a struggle. The severity of my condition forced me to leave my job. All I yearned for was a pain-free existence where I could perform everyday activities with ease, such as walking, running, traveling, working, and playing. People who encountered me often inquired about an apparent discrepancy in the length of my legs. After the surgery, both my legs are now equal in length and I feel completely recovered. The pain is gone and it's as if the surgery never happened. Today, I can freely engage in various activities like visiting parks, socialising with friends, working out, sitting down to put on socks and shoes, standing up straight, cycling, or riding a bike without any discomfort. Light jogging and brisk walks are also part of my routine now. I have already resumed his daily routine with ease and living life to the fullest," concluded the patient Souvik Dasgupta.

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