Times of India
16 July 2010
By Vishakha sharma
38–yr–old Mumbaikar was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, till she came to Pune for a surgery that ended her 14 yrs of pain. She was bedridden for 4 yrs
Thirty–eight–year–old, Mumbai–based beautician, Rashmi Hemant Pednekar is enjoying a new lease of life after 14 years of pain and being bedridden for four years. Rashmi, who was admitted to the Lokmanya Hospital, Nigdi was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and was undergoing treatment there. Rashmi will now be discharged on July 16 and will be able to walk without support in another six months.
Rashmi’s miseries began in 1995 with an acute pain in the shoulders spread all over her body slowly to such an excruciating extent that she couldn’t even move. She said, “After I started experiencing unbearable pain in my shoulders, I underwent treatment at various renowned hospitals in Mumbai but the painkillers and steroids only worsened my condition.” With time, other joints began to get stiff. My fingers and toes became crooked. I consulted many doctors, tried alternative therapies like homeopathy, ayurveda, accupuncture, and panchakarma but all in vain.”
“Steroids led to the increase in body fat which further made my movements difficult. Despite of this, I continued to work part–time to support my family and the expensive treatments. In 2006, I was completely bed–ridden. My hip–joint, hands, knees were all stiff so I couldn’t move at all. I had no option but to quit my job and retire to being a vegetable. The doctors in Mumbai had also given up all hope on my condition. They said surgery was an alternative but gave no guarantee,”she quipped.
A ray of hope
“It was by chance that my sister–in–law saw Dr Narendra Vaidya, an Orthopedic and Joints Replacement Surgeon from Lokmanya Hospital being interviewed on television. We approached him immediately in May 2010,”she added.
Dr Vaidya said, “I immediately took Rashmi off steroids. Her complete check up revealed that a total knee replacement surgery was required. I then operated her for rheumatoid arthritis twice, first on May 19 and on May 27. Just two days after the operation, Rashmi could move her legs. She could also turn on to her side and sleep because her legs were straightened. But then, a dedicated physiotherapy session is required to get the other joints moving. After 15 days of physiotherapy, Rashmi could walk with a walker.”
Rashmi said, “I put my feet on the ground after almost three and half to four years. It was heaven.”
A knee replacement surgery in Mumbai costs approximately Rs 3 lakh whereas in Pune the total cost of the surgery including other charges is approximately Rs 2 lakh. The difference in the cost and the easy commute is making Pune one of the most preferred destinations for such planned surgeries.
Dr Vaidya added, “It was a very complicated case and I am happy that Rashmi can walk again. I receive many such cases of arthritis, from different parts of the country, where a knee replacement surgery will resolve the miseries of the patient. But unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about the disease itself. The right treatment at the right time can avoid suffering.”