68-year-old crippled by knee implant can now walk again

Jun 02, 2012, 06:46 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

Four years after undergoing knee replacement surgery that caused the bones in his right leg to dissolve because of the inferior quality of micro plastic particles used, corrective surgery at KEM Hospital puts man on the road to recovery

More than 90 per cent of individuals who undergo knee replacement surgery experience miraculous relief from debilitating knee pain, recover mobility and their ability to perform the common activities of daily life. But the surgery that gives phenomenal relief to thousands crippled a 68-year-old Chembur resident and robbed him of his ability to stand up for a whole year. 

Up on his feet: Ramavtaar Aharwar

After a year of excruciating pain, a surgery at KEM hospital a month ago is set to help Ramavtaar Aharwar stand on his own feet with ease again. The plastic component implanted in his knee nearly four years ago to relieve him from arthritis ended up crippling him and causing him excruciating agony for a whole year. Doctors are of the opinion that the knee implant was of inferior quality, and caused his femur to gradually disintegrate.

Dr Pradeep Bhosale head of the Orthopaedics department at KEM Hospital

As the implant started giving way, the bones around it started dissolving due to its constant corrosion. “There was no infection in the knee, but the bones dissolved after the micro plastic particles of the existing implant began wearing out,” said a doctor. An implant usually consists of metal and a plastic component.

Aharwar, who suffered from arthritis, opted for the knee replacement surgery on his right leg four years ago at a hospital. Three years later, he started experiencing severe pain in the same knee, and to his great alarm, he noticed that the lower portion of his right leg had gone limp. He then approached Dr Pradeep Bhosale, head of the Orthopaedics department at KEM Hospital.

After some X-ray tests were conducted to diagnose the source of pain, the truant implant was discovered. “The patient had suffered from osteolysis which means dissolution or degeneration of bone tissue because of the micro plastic particles that had been worn out after three years of surgery. The quality of the previous knee implant was not up to the mark,” said Bhosale.

“When we were operating on the patient, the implant came out almost instantly, as the bones around it had started to dissolve,” added Bhosale. A relieved Aharwar told MiD DAY, “I am glad that my knee is not causing me excruciating pain anymore. I can walk up and down the corridors with relative ease now.” Aharwar continues to use crutches but is responding well to his physiotherapy treatment.  

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