58-year-old Birja Nand from Fiji first noticed pain in his knees after a fall from the stairs about two years ago. When it became difficult for him to move around, Birja consulted an orthopedic surgeon. A series of x-rays revealed a tear in his left anterior cruciate ligament, a degenerative condition in the knees. "The prognosis was that eventually, I would have to undergo Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery for ligament repair," Birja recalls.
Two years after the ACL procedure, Birja began experiencing intermittent pain in his knees. An X-ray revealed that Birja’s knee joint had over the years deteriorated, and was bone-on-bone. This is when a decision to get a bilateral total knee replacement at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre at New Delhi changes his life. “One morning I woke up and just couldn’t take it anymore,” says Birja. “I had had enough.” He decided to discuss his treatment options with Dr. Sapna Joseph, Case Manager at Vaidam Health. He was provided with the list of top 10 orthopedic hospitals in India.
After sending over his medical reports and carefully going through the various processes of traveling to India with his Case Manager, Birja finally decided to get treated at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. On July 8, he arrived at New Delhi airport, “this was my first time in India, and I was feeling quite anxious about coming here and about the surgery. He made his way for his appointment with Dr. Vivek Mahajan. Upon going through his previous tests and x-rays the doctor advised to go ahead with bilateral knee replacement. For Birja, this was good news because the rehabilitation time was shorter and was truly a good choice.
Dr. Mahajan recommended a mobile bearing knee implant, comprised of the durable metals chromium and cobalt, with a plastic spacer. The plastic spacer, which replaces the cartilage, was designed to provide a more natural range of motion. In addition to advances in implant design and materials, surgeons have developed less invasive approaches to surgery over the past 10 years. “Today, we can perform better, more accurate surgeries, in a less invasive way,” says Dr. Mahajan- one of the best orthopedic doctors in India.
“The overall experience of joint replacement is better for the patient thanks to a combination of advances including smaller surgical incisions, refined instrumentation, better postsurgical rehabilitation protocols and better pain management,” says Dr. Mahajan.
Birja attests that his entire experience at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre made the postoperative pain and challenges of the bilateral knee replacement worthwhile. “Recovery was painful and very difficult,” he says, “but everyone who cared for me – from the doctors and nurses to the people from food service and housekeeping – was very supportive. They all showed concern about my pain and seemed as excited as I was about my progress.”
Upon returning to his home in Fiji after over a month in India, Birja sent the Vaidam team a thank-you mail. He wrote, “India is the land of healing, where a culture of complete and compassionate patient care is profound.”
Vaidam wishes Birja Nand a speedy and full recovery with a wholesome life ahead.