Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Delhi Review-13 year old girl walks again

Published: 20th June 2011
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13 year old Obijuru Amaka Oluwakemi came from Nigeria with the history of sickle cell disease. She came to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals with complaints of severe pain in the left hip with inability to bear weight on lower left limb for the last 10-12 months. She was unable to stand or walk because of this pain. She was advised to undergo Total Hip Arthroplasty after discussing all possible options with her mother. "This is an exceptional case as normally this surgery is reserved for elderly or younger patients only. The other options were discarded as they had certain disadvantages owing to the young age of the patient. It is the first of its kind surgery as Obijuru is the youngest patient to undergo this surgery in India," says Dr. Yash Gulati, Sr. Consultant, Orthopedics at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals who performed the surgery on Obijuru.

Obijuru had weakness in all four limbs about year and a half ago which has been recovering gradually after her treatment in London. But she still had weakness in her lower left limb. Investigations revealed a vascular necrosis of femoral head (left) with severe irregularity. "In view of severe disabling pain in her left hip, surgery was recommended. The decision was taken after discussions with the pediatrics and neurology doctors at the hospital," adds Dr. Gulati. The surgery was performed successfully.

Obijuru was mobilized with knee support after 24 hours of the operation. She is now able to walk with support but has to follow certain instructions to avoid any complications. "She has to avoid cross leg sitting and lower seating as a precaution for a few weeks. She is healthy and fully satisfied with the medical assistance being offered to her," says Dr. Gulati.

The possible complications of the surgery such as infection, dislocation, fracture, loosening etc. were taken care of during the operation. "Chances of repeat surgery are almost certain in ensuing years but this can be avoided if she follows the instructions religiously," adds Dr. Gulati as a quote of caution.

Speaking about the exceptional status of the case Dr. Gulati says, "This case was an exception in the sense because of the very young age of the patient. These surgeries are recommended mostly to older patients. There were several risks attached to the surgery which we took care of." He further added, "Since the patient had a history of sickle cell disorder, we had to take special care in order to avoid sickle cell crisis which if occurred would have proved life threatening for her."

Obijuru is now healthy and would take a few weeks to recover completely.

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