15 March 2010
By Shailvee Sharda
Knee Replacement Surgery Gives New Lease Of Life To Arthritis Patients
Veteran TV actor and theatre artist Sulbha Deshpande had accepted the excruciating pain in her legs as destiny’s will. But, not for long; thanks to medical science which offers effective treatment for arthritis.
The 74-year actor developed osteoarthiritis at the age of 58. Over the years the pain became unbearable. Doctors prescribed painkillers, physiotherapy but said that knee transplant was the final solution. “A strange fear always prevented me from going in for surgery and I bore the pain for about a decade,” she said.
However, a turnaround came in 2003 when the veteran actor injured her leg.
“... I was almost sure that I would have to bear the pain throughout my life. But my family doctor convinced me to for the knee replacement surgery... and thank God, he did that, or else I would not have got a new mission in life,” she shared with TOI.
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Even now, recalling ‘those painful days’ leaves Sulbha anxious. “I distinctly remember, I was told by my family to stand on my feet if I were to study further and grow in life.... and I did exactly what I was told... And after so many years of staying independent, arthritis tthreatened to take away my selfconfidence. This very thought shook me completely,” she said.
In September 2003, Sulbha underwent the first knee replacement surgery. Since then she has had six more surgeries.
But now, even at the age of 74, Sulbha can comfortably climb stairs. Citing her example, she now advocates knee replacement surgery for those who need it.
“I wasted so many years trying to overcome the dilemma whether to go in for surgery or not. I could have got rid of the pain much earlier ... I tell people to consult the doctor when arthritis symptoms start emerging,” she stressed.
Consult a Doctor if
- You suffer with unexplained vague pain in the body especially in the back and joints.
- You suffer a fracture from an insignificant or trivial injury.
- Moderate weight-bearing exercises several times can help.
- Ensure calcium and Vitamin D intake to build and maintain bones.
- Expose yourself to early morning sun for 20 minutes three times a week.
- Since enough calcium from food is difficult, supplements are useful if taken under medical guidance.
- Eat a balanced, varied diet.
- Don’t get too thin. This can accelerate loss of bone density especially in young women.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Go in for BMD tests regularly if you suffer with thyroidism, asthma, chronic renal diseases or have been put on steroids.
- Increase frequency of BMD after 40 years as bone health declines rapidly thereafter. Twice a year is recommended.
List of moderate calcium rich food (150 mg) with daily serving: 1/3 cup Almonds, 2/3 cup sesame seeds, two tbsp almond paste, six dried figs, three fresh oranges, one cup cottage cheese.
List of calcium rich food (300 mg) with daily serving: A cup of milk, 3/4 cup yoghourt, a cup of orange/grape juice, 2 cups soya beans.
- 11% Indians above 60 years or 13.75 crore individuals in India suffer with arthritis. For Lucknow the figure stands at 4.5 lack patients as per estimates.
- 70% or 9.6 crore of the affected persons suffer with symptomatic arthritis while the remaining (2.4 crore) need surgery. In Lucknow, close to 3.15 lakh persons suffer with symptomatic arthritis and 78,000 need surgery.