75-year-old woman back on her feet after rare surgery

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Chennai, Aug 1 (UNI) At the ripe age of 75, Rajalakshmi had been crawling for the last few years as her right knee was bow-shaped due to medical complications.

Two decades back, she underwent corrective surgery. But this only complicated her condition and the pain too turned unbearable.

She had to be assisted while walking and her movements were inhibited. She found it difficult to walk because of instability.

For the last couple of years she had been crawling. But there came a shope when she came to know about SRM Medical College Hospital last month. The irony was that although she was residing only about five km away from the hospital she was not aware of its existence as she had not been venturing out.

A team of doctors of the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumology of SRM hospital performed the rare complicated total knee replacement surgery at less than 50 per cent of the cost charged by various other super specialities hospitals, and made her walk on her own, again.

''The knee replacement was done in two stages. We performed it in the left knee first and after a gap of two weeks, the complicated surgery was done on the right knee,'' Prof R Dhanapal, who led a team of doctors in the surgery, told reporters in the presence of SRM University Vice-Chancellor P Sathyanarayanan.

While total knee replacement was done on left knee using the standard implant, complications like ligament laxity, deformity in bones, exaggerated movement in knee in the form of instability existed in right knee, which required a special prosthesis.

''We have to use a special type of prosthesis on her right knee to make it equal to the left knee and ensure that both the limbs were straight and equal,'' Prof Dhanapal said.

Ms Rajalakshmi could not hide her jubilation and profusely thanked the Hospital and the Vice-Chancellor for performing the surgery at the minimal cost.

At the age of 75, the spring is back in her feet. ''Though I can walk without any support for a few steps, I am now walking with a walker as the surgery was done just ten days back. In the next few weeks, I will be back to normal,'' she added.

Prof Sathyanarayanan said the aim of the hospital was to provide quality treatment to poor people at a affordable cost.

''Keeping this in view the process of building specialities has begun. We will soon be having an exclusive cardio-thoracic department with technical inputs from Harvard Teaching hospital in US. The centre will become functional from October,'' he added.

The SRM University would also open its medical college and hospital at Tiruchi from the academic year 2009-10 and the process of getting approval from the Medical Council of India was on.


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