A saga of Life – Hip pain to motion gain

I feel glad to share the success story of one of my challenging patients from Dar-es-salam (coastal, peaceful, economic hub and largest city of East Africa),Tanzania.

I still remember this episode while I was visiting Dar-es-salam way back in 2017, a young, beautiful African, a believer in Jehovah the girl approached my OPD - limping and wearing a grim look on her face, she was accompanied by her mother whose eyes spelt dismay and hopelessness.

She was in much agony, possibly it was her restricted mobility that was bother her more than the pain. The feeling of not being normal brings you more dejection than what’s imagine or understood by the most.

I have a natural habit of first listening to my patients rather than skimming through the reports.

As I started conversing with her, I came to know that both her hips were hurting as a result she experienced excruciating hip pain, she did not have an uninterrupted sleep for quite a while.

Her daily routine activities were quite a daunting task to be fulfilled normally. She had difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, going to toilet, changing clothes etc. She could not concentrate on her job and her performance at work was also affected. Over and above all this, being in a marriageable age, she wished to marry but could not think of it because of this disability.

All in all, she was quite sorrowful with her life, drained of hope she approached us as the last resort. Hoping that we will be the ray of hope. During our course of discussion, physical examination and reviewing her reports, I found that she had avascular necrosis of both her femoral heads (hip bones) because of sickle cell anaemia and it required total hip replacement. But total hip replacement in her case was quite a big challenge for many reasons. However, understanding her agony, we took up this challenge. The challenges were to perform a lasting hip replacement in a young girl of a child bearing age with sickle cell anaemia combined with religious faith where people in her community do not accept blood transfusion in perioperative period. But in spite of all these limitations, we went ahead with a successful surgery.

Today I feel happy to share that post surgery she had no pain. Till today, she has not complained any pain or physical restriction. She is a new cheerful girl and depression is far from her life. She is fulfilling all her daily chores, fulfilling professional commitments and meeting all her social obligations like anyone of us. I am glad that she is also looking forward to her marriage. We, as team Zydus, delivered, not only what we promised but also restored a smile on a depressed face. Finally, I assert that a precisely performed hip replacement can restore a smile of good health even in challenging situations.

By : - Dr. Daria Singh

Consultant - Joint Replacement Expert