A 32-year-old steps into the new year with a new life

Underwent a total hip replacement to treat Ankylosing spondylitis at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

Hip replacement, Ankylosing spondylitis, BGS Gleneagles, Global Hospital, Basavraj CM, Senior Joint Replacement Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Anti-TNF, Medication

A 32-year-old female patient was operated on to treat a severe case of Ankylosing spondylitis that had left her with severe spine and hip deformities. A complete hip replacement carried out by doctors at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital has given the young woman a fresh start at life as she is now able to walk again.

Anita (name changed), was first diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis at the age of 20. This is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and hip joints, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. "Ankylosis" means abnormal stiffening and immobility of a joint due to fusion of the bones. Due to this condition, all the joints from her neck to her knees were immobile due to severe stiffness. The bones had fused and there were virtually no joints, giving it the impression of a single bone that lined from the neck till the knees. As a consequence, she was unable to walk utdoors; long distances and day to day activities became increasingly difficult. Both the hips were completely stiff.

She couldn’t sleep or lay down flat on her back because of her bent hips and spinal deformities. At the time, she could not walk beyond 100 metres. In 2016, she approached doctors at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, who reviewed her condition and recommended a total hip replacement as it could potentially give her a good range of movements in the hip. The main challenge in this case was to place a hip where there was no hip joint cavity.
Dr Basavraj CM, HOD and Senior Joint Replacement Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said, “A successful joint replacement surgery is a game changer particularly in disabled patients with stiff joints affected with ankylosing spondylitis. Nowadays, we have powerful treatments like biologics (Anti-TNF) medication, which can prevent joint destruction in the initial stages, when disease process is just beginning. It is very important to seek early help, so that the natural joints can be preserved.”

In this case, the operation itself took 3 hours. The recovery took a longer time, because the patient had not used any of her muscles of the hips and legs for over 10 years. After the surgery was successfully completed, she was made to walk within 3 days post-op. She required extensive physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles that had wasted over the years. This was carried out over 10 months, until she was able to walk without any aids. Presently, she is able to walk 3 kilometres in a day. She walks to her workplace, which is 1.5 kms away and back home at the end of the day. This is a vast improvement considering she was not able to walk more than 100 metres just a few years ago.