Bedridden for 6 years, PGI helps teen finally walk again

In a rare case, a 17-year-old girl suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, who had been bedridden for the last six years, has been given a new lease of life.

A complicated surgery performed by the doctor has made the 17-year-old walk again after being severely crippled for 6 years. At the age of 11, Simran was struck down with rheumatoid arthritis and by the time she reached adulthood, her bones were bent stiff to 90 degrees. In fact, she has a family history of the disease, with her mother also suffering from it and having had to undergo a hip replacement surgery last year.

Dr Manuj Wadhwa, Director & Head, Department of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, who performed this difficult surgery, said, "This case was technically very challenging. It is only in less than one per cent cases that a surgery can be performed as she is very young and her bones and ligaments had become deformed to an enormous degree. We had to debate about what technology and bio material to use."

"I used to play and run around like any normal child till the age of about 11," recalls an emotional Simran. "However, I would find it very difficult to sit cross-legged on the floor. As I grew up, this problem worsened and it even affected the way I walked and I started waddling more than walking. Apart from the physical deformity, it also affected me psychologically. I could not even go to school, but now I will join back my studies," she added.

"In this surgery, the challenge was on how to restore flexibility and give the required decades of longevity to the artificial joints, considering such a young patient," said Dr Manuj Wadhwa. "So, to ensure that the knee implants last longer and are relatively wear and tear free, and to increase flexibility, Oxinium implants were used in her case," he added.

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