Allograft procedure highlights the importance of bone and tendon donation in medical advancements
The unfolded Allograft tendon after thawing the folded Allograft tendon before thawing
- Bone and tendon donation is not a widely embraced concept
- Octogenarian underwent knee replacement surgery in Ahmedabad
- She was involved in an accident that led to a fracture of her kneecap
Unlike organ donation, bone and tendon donation is not a widely embraced concept. However, it’s important to note that bone donation can also bring relief and smiles to recipients, as exemplified by the story of an 81-year-old lady doctor in south Mumbai.
Last year, in June, this octogenarian underwent knee replacement surgery in Ahmedabad. Unfortunately, just a few months later, she was involved in an accident that led to a fracture of her kneecap. Despite multiple surgeries in Ahmedabad, her condition did not improve, and she could not walk due to irreparable damage to the knee muscle tendon.
While organ donation enjoys a reasonable level of awareness, bone donation remains less popular
In 2023, after exhausting various surgical options without success, the elderly lady finally sought the expertise of orthopaedic surgeons Dr Gauresh Palekar and Dr Prasad Bhangunde. They proposed a surgery using an allograft tendon, and Dr Palekar planned the procedure at Saifee Hospital. The donated allograft tendon was sourced from NOVO Tissue Bank & Research (NTBRC). NTBRC provides human tissue allografts, including tendons and bones, to patients in need.
Speaking to mid-day Dr Palekar explained that the patient's damaged tendon had left her unable to stand. “Comparing the patient’s reports before the knee surgery and after the accident,” he said, “We noticed that the kneecap (patella) was intact before the accident but shattered afterwards. We suggested an allograft, to which she agreed, and the surgery was performed accordingly.”
Dr Gauresh Palekar
The lady doctor, speaking anonymously, confirmed the success of the procedure. She revealed that post-accident sonography and CT scan reports showed that the fracture had healed, but her tendon remained ruptured, preventing her knees from supporting her body weight. “Conventional surgeries had offered no relief,” she added. “Hence, Dr Palekar recommended the allograft tendon procedure.”
Following the allograft surgery, the 81-year-old lady was back on her feet and had a message for her family and fellow citizens. “Similar to organ donation, bone donation can significantly improve a recipient’s life. Therefore, my family members and others should consider consenting to organ and bone donation,” she urged.
While organ donation enjoys a reasonable level of awareness, bone donation remains less popular, particularly in India. Consequently, allograft surgery is still a rare and relatively unknown trend.
Dr Hardik Ajmera, the medical director of Saifee hospital, expressed his enthusiasm for these crucial and infrequent surgeries. “We are committed to providing the best treatment infrastructure and standard of care to support such rare procedures,” he stated.
What is an allograft?
An allograft transplant involves the transplantation of tissue from one person to another. In this case, a donated allograft tendon from the ankle (Achilles tendon) was used to reconstruct the knee tendon (Quadriceps).