CHENNAI: A 23-year-old man got a new lease of life and is able to stand and walk after more than four years. Thanks to Apollo doctors, who performed a rare quadruple joint-replacement surgery.Amit Kar was leading a normal life until he was 16 years old, after which he started to develop joint pain in his neck, hips, knees and back. The condition rapidly worsened in the next few months, when his hips and knees became stiff, inflexible and extremely painful making him completely immobilised.
He was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a condition that destroys the spine and hips commonly and sometimes other joints like knees and shoulders. This condition is more common in males and occurs in the 20-30 age group which is the prime of one’s life.
After being wheelchair-bound for more than four years and trying several therapeutic modalities in Bangladesh, Amit Kar was brought to Apollo Hospitals with completely destroyed and fused hip joints and severely damaged and deformed knee joints.
Amit Kar’s knee joints were bent at 90 degrees, making it impossible for him to walk.Dr Arun Kannan, orthopaedic surgeon, and a team of doctors at Apollo Hospitals decided to perform a rare quadruple joint- replacement surgery. Replacement of four joints (both hips and both knees) is termed as quadruple joint-replacement surgery. This significant procedure requires multidisciplinary care, meticulous surgery, safe anesthesia, ICU back-up and dedicated rehabilitation for a proper recovery.
Dr Kannan said, “This surgery was performed in two stages in two weeks’ time. In the first stage, the right hip and right knee were replaced and in the second stage the left hip and left knee were replaced. Both stages required awake fibreoptic intubation- a specialised anesthetic technique where the airway tube is placed while the patient is awake.”
The patient has now recovered and is undergoing rehabilitation therapy.Since Amit Kar had not walked for several years, his hip and knee muscles were weak and could not support him. Hence, specialised rehabilitation techniques were used to help him regain muscle-tone and strength. Initially he was walking with the support of a walker, and now he is able to walk independently.
Early diagnosis helps
Dr S Ramakrishnan, senior consultant rheumatologist, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, said Ankylosing Spondylitis treatment requires a holistic approach with medications and a regular physiotherapy programme
Regular swimming is a very good exercise for these patients
A major problem in India with respect to the treatment of AS is delayed presentation to rheumatologist as the disease is already advanced
Patients with AS will lead a good quality of life with early diagnosis and regular treatment