Delhi

Back on her feet after decades of struggle

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11 implants, three surgeries and sheer will power change a life

For 48-year-old Sachi Pathak, life was never pain-free. A sports enthusiast, Sachi was always ahead in participating in all gymnastic activities in her school. One day while forming a pyramid (a gymnastic formation) she fell on her knees. Her knees became stiff and her movement became limited. She was rushed to the nearest hospital and over a series of diagnostic tests it was found that she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disease that results in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible joints like knees, hips, shoulders etc. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility if not adequately treated.

In Sachi’s case, RA had affected both her knees and hip joints. Her lower body had become completely stiff. She felt an excruciating pain at every step that she took. Despite being restricted to the bed for almost three years, Sachi was determined to rule her life and in 1991, she started a playschool in Allahabad. Due to unavailability of the right treatment, Sachi had to take a heavy dose of pain killers to manage her new venture. She even went to Kolkata in search of the right treatment.

In 2012, she was treated at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket. Dr S.K.S. Marya, chairman and chief surgeon at the Hospital, who treated her said: “We told her about a new and unique knee and joints implant. While normally 2.5 size implants are used the most, in Sachi’s case we imported the smallest implant available for joint reconstruction, size 1 implant, which is manufactured in America.”

The implants were imported from the US and in July last year, Sachi underwent the first implant surgery in the hip joints. The left and right knees were operated in December 2013 and February 2014 respectively. “In total she has eleven implants after three surgeries which is enabling her to walk pain-free after three decades,” added Dr. Marya.

RA is one of the most disabling types of arthritis. Joints swell up, become tender and warm, making the stiffness extremely painful.

“But in Sachi’s case, we saw an extraordinary example of will power. I am amazed that she fought the disease for 34 years and didn’t let it deter her from living her life,” said Dr. Marya.

Today, Sachi leads a pain-free life. She is delighted to be walking on her feet and recalls the days when even getting up from the chair would cause severe pain in her entire body.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:00:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/back-on-her-feet-after-decades-of-struggle/article6690606.ece

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