Dubai, United Arab Emirates-Sunday 24 June 2018 [ AETOS Wire ]
62-year-old Abdul and 72-year-old Alia, both Egyptian nationals, couldn’t sit or walk a few months back, but now find it easy to prostrate and walk briskly. Things were not this easy when they were first diagnosed with osteoarthritis. However, unlike the usual belief, the elderly man and woman opted for a surgical treatment to put their pain at bay.
“Abdul, who complained from right hip pain couldn’t walk up and down the stairs or even sit on the ground to offer salah. Over years, his hip osteoarthritis had progressed from occasional joint pain to being unable to care for himself. Despite being on medication, his symptoms were worsening, making him feel depressed and helpless. When he visited me for the first time, his only motivation was to be able to offer salah. He felt terribly upset that he couldn’t pray or sit on the ground with his family and friends for a meal. As his condition was severe, we recommended a total hip replacement for him to best accommodate his lifestyle,” said Dr MohamedAttia, who serves as an orthopaedic surgeon at Emirates Hospital.
Having problems with hip and knee is common with adults over the age of 50. The wear and tear over time can bring on osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is often known as a degenerative joint disease as it leads to the slow breakdown of cartilage within a joint. It usually affects the knees, hips and spine and causes symptoms including pain, stiffness, impaired motion and swelling.
While osteoarthritis of the hip is common with both men and women, osteoarthritis of the knee is more common in women. By nature, women face a triple threat of risk factors when it comes to arthritis: biology, genetic predisposition and hormones. In addition, conditions as obesity, weak muscles, elastic ligament and the size of the bone have also been identified as major factors that lead to osteoarthritis.
“Obesity is a major condition leading to osteoarthritis. Extra weight puts more pressure on joints and can cause the cartilage between joints to wear away faster. With every extra pound you gain, you add more pressure to your knees. As such, we always recommend our patients to maintain an ideal weight to be able to avoid severe osteoarthritis,” added Dr Attia.
“Osteoarthritis starts with minor pain and increases by time, and once the pain goes to a severe stage, walking and other day to day activities become difficult. One of my patient, a 72-year-old Egyptian lady called Alia was diagnosed with severe knee osteoarthritis recently. She suffered an excruciating pain, which made it difficult for her to walk. However, walking is extremely important, particularly in the old age to avoid problems as hypertension, diabetes or weakening of the heart. To ensure she didn’t suffer from any further complications, we performed a knee replacement surgery, which has massively improved her walking and she’s now also able to perform regular tasks without any assistance,” said Dr Attia.
Knee and hip replacements offer 95-97 percent success rates. While these surgeries can be performed easily, it is important that these procedures are achieved through care and precision. At Emirates Hospital, the doctors make use of a special surgical approach, that ensures patients recover faster with minimal pain after the surgery.
Mild and moderate cases of osteoarthritis at Emirates Hospital are treated conservatively through physiotherapy, weight loss programs and right medication. However, it the condition is severe, and if the patient is unable to perform his daily physical requirements without pain, then a surgery is often recommended. While a surgery can be performed on any age group that is usually above 50’s, a full check-up of the patient is identified to determine if the patient can undergo a surgery or not.
“The goal is to keep the patient walking without pain, catching and locking. As such, at Emirates Hospital, attention to detail is very important. Right from the surgery to the recovery stages, we ensure that our patients have a positive experience all the way through,” concluded Dr Attia.
The surgical cost of osteoarthritis in the UAE is 40-50 thousand dirhams and is covered by insurance, depending on the category of insurance. Emirates Hospital accepts most insurances and performs over 50-60 such surgeries on an annual basis.
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