Doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) performed a hip joint replacement surgery on a 97-year-old man from Chennai recently.

The nonagenarian had sustained a fracture of the thigh bone in a fall at home.

N. Deen Mohamed Ismail, head, department of orthopaedics at GH, said the rare thing about the surgery was the patient’s age.

The man was first taken to a private hospital where he was diagnosed with femur fracture.

“The private hospital refused to perform the surgery because of the risks and complications associated with his age. He came to GH on January 5,” said Dr. Ismail.

The patient refused to reveal any other personal details.

Challenging case

There are several co-morbid conditions attached to age such as cardiac and lung status, and the possibility of developing post-operative complications such as blood clots and bed sores.

On the operation table, there are other challenges such as being careful with weak bones, said Dr. Ismail.

“On evaluating him, we found he had hypertension and cardiac problems,” he said. The surgery was performed on January 9 and he was put on spinal anaesthesia. “The part connecting the head and body of the thigh bone was broken. We replaced this portion with a metal and used bone cement to allow the metal to bridge with the bone,” said Dr. Ismail.

He was able to walk three days after the surgery. Dr. Ismail said the nonagenarian, who was brought to GH in a stretcher, walked out of the hospital after being discharged on Monday.

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