A 38-year-old male with pain in his hips. Dr Ashwani Maichand does not receive a bulk of patients from this age group. But, when this man approached him with a problem, Dr Maichand knew it wasn’t a straw from the usual haystack. The 38-year-old male complained of excruciating pain in his right hip that was bothering him since 3 months. The ache would increase when he would drive, climb stairs, and sit on a chair for a long time. Since he was not able to get the right treatment in Gwalior, he came to Dr Ashwani Maichand in Delhi.
Dr Ashwani Maichand diagnosed his condition as Avascular Necrosis (AVN). Sounds like an evil Warlock from a fantasy cartoon, but Avascular Necrosis can cause more pain than hexes. It’s basically the condition when a bone tissue dies because of the lack of blood supply. The irregularity in the right femoral head in the X-ray pointed to this ailment. AVN happens due to trauma or deposits of fat near the blood vessels, which block the circulation. There are certain diseases like Gaucher’s disease and Sickle Cell Anaemia that develop Avascular Necrosis.
The patient was given the option of drilling the hip-bone, stem-cell therapy and bone grafting procedures. However, Dr Ashwani Maichand explained that the above procedure has a success rate of only 10%. The other 90% might result in total waste of money, or worse, a botched-up operation.
Dr Maichand had a better option in store for him − a Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) to replace the hip would do the trick. With a small 8-centimetre incision and no blood transfusion, the patient received a ceramic hip replacement. The operation did not take as much effort as a bone grafting would take.
The patient started walking with the help of a walker and then with a stick. After two weeks, he could walk briskly and climb up the stairs without any support. According to Dr Ashwani Maichand, metal hip replacements last only 15-20 years. Ceramic hip-replacements on the other hand, last up to 35 years. Overall, this operation was a huge success and it gave the patient a lease of new life.