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Times of India
15 March 2010
By Shailvee Sharda
Lucknow, India

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.

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“I remember how elder women in my family, suffering from arthritis, had come to live a confined life.... At one point of time, I felt, I too would have to live like them... but God had planned a different future for me,” Sulbha said while speaking to TOI on Sunday. She was in the city to attend an awareness-cum-interactive session organised by the Arthritis Foundation of India (AFI). Sulbha is AFI’s brand ambassador.

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.

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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.

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