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Hip Resurfacing Surgery in India helps Overseas patients bid adieu to pain


“Sometimes, I walk just to please her,” chuckles Rosemarie Lyntzberger, pointing to Ritu Khemani, physiotherapist at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai. “She is a perfect combination of expertise and encouragement.”

Ms Lyntzberger, 62, looks younger than her age. Wockhardt’s first German patient lived an active life, first in advertising, working as copywriter and creative director in agencies like J Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam.

In 1991, she left Germany with her photographer husband to settle in an idyllic little village in a remote corner of Turkey. The couple operated a sailing yacht, catering to tourists flocking to Turkey.

Ten years ago, a villain appeared to play spoilsport in her happy life – arthritis. The Lyntzbergers were forced to sell their yacht. Arthritis began stepping up its painful assault on her active life and her personality.

“It is interesting to find out how much pain you can live with. A point comes when you say enough is enough,” Rosemarie recalls. “Pain alters your character. You are no longer as tolerant as you used to be, you smile less and you become short-tempered. I knew I had to go for an operation before my character changed for the worse.”

She decided to act – go for the best procedure to get rid of the pain. “Life is funny. Things don’t happen by chance,” Rosemarie philosophises. “Just as I was brooding over the question, I happened to read about an awake heart bypass surgery performed at an Indian hospital called Wockhardt in a German magazine. And I thought, why not discuss my problem with this hospital, among others?”

She did. Simultaneously, she checked with hospitals in Turkey and Germany as well. It would be a critical operation. At her age, she knew it has to be once-in-a-lifetime operation. She wanted to know all about her condition, what the doctors proposed to do and the science behind it all. Women from advertising are difficult taskmasters.

“We must have exchanged over 100 mails over a three-month period,” says Pradeep Thukral of Wockhardt Hospitals, whose speed of response she praises. Dr Malhan explained to her about the latest technique called hip resurfacing that is superior to hip replacement. Some of the hospitals in Germany Rosemarie spoke to were not familiar with this technique. The Turkish hospitals were not too helpful either. “They wanted me to be a passive patient – not as a partner in solving my problem.”

Then began a 13-hour journey, part of it by bus, from her village to Istanbul to get a visa. She flew into Mumbai and was operated three days later.

What did she like about India? “We all want our doctors to be effective. But doctors here go beyond that – they are caring, and there is an emotional bond.” She got to like Indian food. And the hospital gave her a net connection so she didn’t feel cut off from her world.

Rosemarie checked out today to a city hotel. She will visit the hospital daily for a week for physiotherapy before flying back home on September 27.

“I feel at home here. I will always do it here again if required – but Dr Malhan assures me it won’t be necessary,” she says as she thanks all the doctors and nurses before departing.
Wockhardt Hospitals Group has partnered with Harvard Medical International (HMI), Boston, USA, in establishing super speciality hospitals at Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkatta and Nagpur.We are a Centre of Excellence for all kinds of Joint replacements and Hip Resurfacing Surgery procedures with clinical outcomes at par with the best. Please check out our website for more details and testimonials of our recent international patients.

Joint Commission International (JCI) - the international arm of JCAHO which accredits top hospitals in USA has recently audited our hospital at Mumbai and has approved it. This is a first of its kind recognition for an Indian Superspeciality hospital and confirm that at we adhere to international standards of clinical care, safe environment, medication safety, respect for rights and privacy, international infection control standards and access to dedicated well trained staff.

We are a Centre of Excellence for Hip Resurfacing Surgery and a number of US patients have benefited from our expertise

Hip Resurfacing procedure ill recently was not available in USA and in UK there are huge waiting lists, so we are regularly getting a number of international patients at our centre in Mumbai for this surgery.

This procedure is much more advanced than Total Hip replacement. In UK and US, the cost of this surgery is at least 5- 8 times more than in India

Information about Hip resurfacing versus hip replacement procedure

Hip resurfacing or surface replacement arthroplasty is a bone-conserving alternative to conventional total hip replacement (THR). Unlike THR, hip resurfacing does not involve the removal of the femoral head and neck; hence the head, neck and femur bone is preserved in an effort to facilitate future surgery to enable the patient to take advantage of newer technology or treatments in the future. The current generation of hip resurfacing devices utilizes a metal-metal bearing. Metal-metal bearings have demonstrated a much higher level of wear resistance as well as reduced bone loss and inflammatory tissue reaction about the hip joint as compared to metal-polyethylene bearings. Hip resurfacing is anatomically and biomechanical more similar to the natural hip joint resulting in increased stability, flexibility and range of motion. Further, the dislocation risk is virtually eliminated. Higher activity levels are typically achieved with less risk. These benefits are realized because the head diameter that results from resurfacing is very similar to the patient’s normal head diameter and these larger head sizes are typically much larger than the femoral balls utilized in conventional THR. This surgery is less invasive and rehabilitation after the operation is quicker. Patients are encouraged to be active after surgery as this improves the bone stock

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing technology, is a much advanced technical procedure than conventional total hip replacement. As a novel procedure, it demands an experienced surgeon who can thoroughly understand the responsibility of performing hip Arthroplasty on young active patients.

To keep pace with this changing and demanding scenario, we have a highly experienced Opthopaedic Surgeon - Dr. Kaushal C Malhan, in our clinical team. He brings with him tremendous orthopaedic training from the U.K. Dr. Malhan is responsible for establishing a regional Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Center at Wockhardt Bone & Joint Hospital in Mumbai, one of its kind in India. Patients from India and even from neighboring countries can benefit from the remarkable rewards of this procedure.

Conventional total hip replacements usually consist of a stemmed femoral component that is fixed into the femoral canal using cement articulating with a polyethylene cup cemented into the pelvis. There are several conventional total hip replacement systems that have been proven to work well in elderly inactive patients. In Hip replacement surgery thigh bone is generally removed which leads to the loss of large quantity of normal bone. All these reduce the bone stock and make any future revision procedures difficult. They work less well in the younger patients with poorer survival. They do not allow full unrestricted activity and can dislocate.

BHR is more advanced then the conventional hip replacement surgery. It has changed the lives of many young arthritics worldwide. For some of the hip joint problems/diseases like Avascular Necrosis, Hip Dysplasia with Secondary Arthritis, Old Perthes Diseases, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Young Age Osteoarthritis - BHR is proving as an effective solution.

Unlike Traditional hip replacement surgery the amount of bone removed is much smaller. During the surgery the joint is removed and resurfaced with a round femoral cup and metal acetabular socket. There is no risk of limb length changes at operation. Rehabilitation is much faster. The joint is then lubricated by the hip’s natural fluid. In BHR, preservation of bone stock at the time of operation and less stress shielding makes it easy to revise the surgery, if needed. This procedure helps in sacrificing only the diseased bone and acetabular socket preserves normal bone.

The advantages of BHR over the conventional hip replacement surgery are:

· Removes only unhealthy bone and replaces it with a metal on metal articulation.
· It preserves the normal bone of the hip – patients can squat, sit cross-legged, use Indian toilet without the risk of dislocation.
· Everlasting - based on 35-year history in Birmingham of metal on metal implants.
· Excellent restoration of full function.
· Femoral head remains viable after BHR surgery.It does not sacrifice normal bone during primary surgery.
· Activity restriction not required after surgery, as there is hardly any risk of dislocation.Patient can indulge in full sporting activities without risk of dislocation. Patients have gone back to sports like competitive Judo and Squash after surgery.
· Overall 99% success rate - ideal option for the younger or more active patient.
· No dislocation in more than 2000 BHR procedures done in Birmingham.
· Many adolescent patients have had the procedure with excellent results. Procedure can be done soon after skeletal maturity.


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