Mangaluru: In light of the upcoming World Arthritis Day, KMC Hospital organised a walk-a-thon for patients who have undergone knee-replacement surgery to demonstrate how they have integrated into normal life, free from earlier disability, at the Kadri Park here, on October 31.
Arthritis is a common problem across all age groups (including children, adults and old people) and almost 15% of the Indian population suffers from this condition. The condition can be treated successfully with medications and surgery but due to lack of awareness, people usually ignore the symptoms.
KMC has successfully performed various simple, complicated and revision knee and hip joint replacement surgeries. With competent and highly specialized Rheumatologists and Joint Specialist surgeons, cases have been dealt with great efficiency and finesse. For the first time in Mangaluru, 100% cases of primary joint replacement, undertaken in the last 10 months in patients of ages ranging from 50 to 79 by KMC’s Specialist Hip and Knee unit, have walked on the same day of surgery.
Addressing the patients, Joint Replacement Surgeon & Sports Injury- Arthroscopy Specialist, Dr Yogeesh Kamath said that the whole idea of this programme is essentially to have patients interact with each other and share their experiences. “When a woman is pregnant for the first time, she talks with other women in the family who have gone through the experience. Similarly, People with a certain illness feel better when they talk to others who had that illness. You get small, small tips from talking about it with others.”
“Going through surgery and being successful in it is something we do and it certainly helps to make you feel better. But it is not a magic wand. The only person who can do magic is sitting up there [points to sky]. We cannot do magic; we are simple human beings. What we have is good techniques by which we can try and help you achieve better activity,” he said, adding, “Do not think of this as a race. By seeing other people do it, each of you should feel encouraged.”
He also explained the different osteoarthritis and the need for proper diagnosis of knee-injuries at an early stage to prevent premature emergence of arthritis, a condition that has been becoming prevalent among the youngsters of today.
“Patients develop pain and swelling of single or multiple joints involving the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, hips, knees, ankles and the feet. Persistent backache can also be due to arthritis of the back joints. If left untreated, the pain and limitation can become so severe that patients no matter how young they are, become bedridden and if not treated can lead to permanent damage in the joints with deformities and disability,” said Dr Sajjan Shenoy N, Specialist, Immunology and Rheumatology, KMC Hospital, Mangaluru.
Later, the patients had a walk through the park. Dr Sagir, Dr Surendra, Dr Jayaram and others were present.
There are various forms of arthritis. Ankylosing Spondylitis among young adults which causes pain in the back and neck; Gout that is related to high uric acid levels; Rheumatoid Arthritis which occurs mainly in the hands, wrists, elbows, feet, knees and hips and leads to rapid destruction of the joints and disability. Psoriatic Arthritis is associated with skin disease; in Reactive Arthritis, joint pain follows an episode of infections; Post-viral Arthritis occurs following a viral infection; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) (and other Connective tissue diseases (CTD)) is a more serious multi-system disease and tends to affect many organs. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis occurs in children between the age group of 2 – 16 years; Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) associated arthritis symptoms include recurrent loose stools with blood. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause for joint pains among the elderly patients and is related to wear-and-tear of the joints over years and is mostly seen in the knees and hips.
Osteo Arthritis if ignored can be more damaging than even a stroke. Immobile & elderly people get more prone to fractures as bones become weaker with decreased mobility. Similarly, consumption of various prescribed and non-prescribed drugs can have harmful side effects on the patient. Untreated osteoarthritis itself is self-propagating: by avoiding mechanical pressure on an affected joint, one strains the neighbouring joints, overall increasing the risks and making for further complexities in treatment.
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