Four surgeries help woman walk - The New Indian Express

Four surgeries help woman walk

Published: 28th August 2013 08:56 AM

Last Updated: 28th August 2013 08:56 AM

For 38-year-old Shahnawaz Begum, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and was bedridden since 2009, relief came almost after 30 years. Thanks to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), the woman from Washermenpet underwent four surgeries to replace both the hip and knee joints.

Doctors said that the woman had been suffering from pain in the joints, since the age of six. But she managed to live on medication that gave her temporary relief.  However, that did not last long and the woman was unable to move around and was totally restricted to her bed in 2009. After approaching various private hospitals, where they found that the treatment was quite expensive, the woman along with her labourer husband approached the RGGGH in August 2011.

In November 2011, her right hip joint was replaced in a surgery that lasted for about 90 minutes. After a gap of about four months, Begum underwent a similar surgery on her left hip joint. Just when she thought she had recovered from the ailment, the pain persisted.

Since Begum’s family could not afford the operation, the hospital’s dean Dr V Kanagasabai decided to replace one knee joint under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme and the other knee with the help of the hospital fund. In May 2013, she underwent another surgery that lasted for three hours on her knee to replace the joints. Talking to City Express on Tuesday, the dean said that though knee and hip joint replacement surgeries were being done at the government hospital for more than two decades, the number of surgeries was usually between three to 12, a year. But in 2012, 44 hip replacements and 25 knee replacements surgeries were performed free of cost, all under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.  Thirty four hip replacement and 13 knee replacement surgeries have been performed up to July this year. “Hip replacement would otherwise cost around ` Two lakh. We have replaced four joints, which could cost Rs 8 lakh, for free under the CM Health Insurance Scheme,” the dean said.

Dr V Singaravadivelu, professor of Orthopedics, said that Begum can get back to normal activities except for sitting and squatting. “She took medicine for the pain, but not for the ailment,” the doctor said. Begum was more than happy to have found a solution for the problem that had been troubling her and thanked the Chief Minister and the doctors.

“I took medicine and after I suffered chikungunya and typhoid in 2009, I was bedridden. They said the surgery would cost Rs 1.2 lakh, but I could not afford it as my husband lost his job since he had to always be by my side. I am happy I am walking and I can do whatever I wanted to do for my family like cooking food,” said Begum with tears welling up in her eyes.

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