Knee replacement surgeon Vikram Shah and his team performed successful surgery on both knees of a 60-year-old Sudanese woman weighing 165 kg at Shalby Hospital, Ahmedabad. Samia Ahmed hails from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
Ahmed had two leg fractures due to the weight and underwent five orthopaedic surgeries in Sudan, UAE, and Egypt before the family chose India.
In 2005, the doctors diagnosed her with elephantiasis, often referred to as elephant foot disease, caused by bites from infected mosquitos. It is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease that causes the swelling of the legs and limbs. Due to the disease, Samia’s weight increased rapidly, and her ability to walk took a hit.
Dr Vikram Shah told Vibes of India that, “According to popular belief, knee replacement is not ideal for obese patients. I believe this is a myth.” He added, “In 2010, we performed knee replacement surgery on both knees of an 83-year-old patient weighing 162 kg from Jodhpur. Currently, he has no knee-related problems in either of his legs.”
Patient Samia Ahmed and her son were also present as Vikram Shah and his team shared details about the surgery. He said, “Samia’s knee replacement surgery was also successful. She will now be able to walk, which will increase blood circulation. It would also help in reducing the severity of her elephantiasis.”
Further, Dr Shah explained, “Obesity and knee osteoarthritis are inextricably linked. Obese people tend to gain more weight which exacerbates the disease. However, they can walk patients after knee replacement, which helps them lose weight.” The team of doctors included Joint Replacement Surgeon and CMD of Shalby Hospital, Dr Vikram Shah, Group COO of Shalby, Dr Nishita Shukla, Director of Global OPD, Dr Bharat Gajjar, and Dr Shrirang Deodhar, Senior Surgeon, Shalby.
“We designed and manufactured the implant, the first time in India. When the implants are old they get interwoven in the bone and are difficult to remove but we could still succeed in operating on her,” adds Shah.
Osteoarthritis is a common disease in obese people and elevates because the knees and hips carry the entire body weight that causes stress.
Samia Ahmed has already fractured her legs twice. First, in 2012, she ruptured her right leg’s third tibia (bone above the ankle). Later, Samia observed a fracture in her proximal tibia (bone below the knee) on the left 2015. She has already undergone five orthopaedic surgeries. Among them, two happened in Sudan, two in United Arabs, and one in Egypt. Bedridden for several months, Ahmed could not walk due to severe knee pain. The doctors found later that arthritis has severely damaged her knee joints.
The patient’s son, Vadda Shamshuddin, said, “My sister and I are both doctors, and our younger brother is also pursuing his medical studies.” He added, “After extensive study and consultation, we chose the best hospital for our mother’s treatment. I am glad her knees are fine, and we look forward to her regular life.”