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Limp corrected after 52 years, woman walks straight

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Having fallen off her bed at the age of six months, a woman walked straight for the first time at the age of 52 following a total hip replacement (THR).

Ever since Sita Sood accidentally fell off her bed she had been suffering from the limp.

The fall was so bad that she fractured neck of right femur (thigh bone which joins hip), which left her right lower limb shortened by 8 cm.

"The patient was given no surgical treatment at the young age, which proved disastrous. The injury caused severe dislocation in her right thigh bone and resulted in the shortening of her limb by 8 centimetres. This caused acute discomfort to the patient and left her limping the entire life," said Dr Rakesh Mahajan, Sr Consultant, Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction and Spine Surgery at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

According to doctors, it was a complicated case as the initial diagnosis and X-ray done on her showed a shallow acetabulum with dislocated hip and more than 5 cm cranial migration of head.

"This means that her hip was completely dislocated as the cup and ball socket was raised to 5 cm above resulting in shortening of the leg muscle. It was very difficult to bring femoral head (highest part of the thigh bone) into its socket as the acetabulam (which joins head of femur with pelvis) was shallow.

"So, we planned to reconstruct the acetabulam and do a Femoral Osteotomy (surgical cutting of bone to allow realignment). We reconstructed the acetabulam with Femoral Head graft and did Femoral Osteotomy to reduce the head and finally cemented components were used to perform total hip replacement, added Dr Mahajan.

Muscle was opened layer-by-layer from all sides around the hip and released till the limb became of equal length, he said.

"The most challenging part of the surgery was to provide a stable hip with equal limb length. For this the cup and ball was cut and fixed to enlarge the hip at the socket," said Ishwar Bohra, Orthopaedic consultant at BLK Hospital.

The patient was discharged within a few days after the 3-hour long surgery that took place recently and is now slowly and surely gaining strength.

"My painful limp is now a distant memory," said Sood.

First Published: Sun, June 28 2015. 13:13 IST