26-year-old Abdo Yoseef Majeed suffered from a rare genetic disorder and retarded growth that led to multiple fusion of joints, making him immobile nine years ago.
Dr Sachin Bhonsle, orthopaedic surgeon at Fortis Hospital, who operated on Abdo said,”It was a challenge to operate on Abdo because of his rare condition. He suffers from severe sickle cell disease which made 84% of his hemoglobin abnormal. This resulted in extreme loss of blood supply to his bones, hindering growth of his joints.”
“From age 15, Abdo’s mobility gradually declined and doctors diagnosed him with immobilizing sickle cell disease. This crippled Abdo, with pain in his lower back, leg, hip, abdomen or chest (usually in two or more locations and recurring in the same areas). Not having been able to walk for years, Abdo was unable to study or work,” said Dr Bhonsle.
Apart from sickle cell disease, Abdo is also suffering from ‘growth retardation’ with multiple joint problems.
“From hip to ankle, Abdo has one single bone in both the knees, with a 90 degree (crooked) bend without knee joints. He also had very less amount of ligament (fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones),” said Dr Bhonsle.
Abdo was admitted in Fortis Hospital four weeks back and underwent bilateral total knee replacement (TKR).
To prepare hor operation, a hematologist performed an exchange transfusion on Abdo in which his abnormal hemoglobin, known as ‘hemoglobin S’ (HbS) was removed and replaced with fresh blood from a compatible owner to bring it down to about 35 percent. It took about seven days to restore HbS to a safe level, after which he was ready for surgery, said Dr Bhonsle.
The other challenge was his child-like soft and tiny joint bones. “His knee bone was soft with width of mere 7cm (normal bone size is 10-20 cm). We performed customized knee replacement and a ceramic prosthesis was done for a longer duration,” said Dr Bhonsle.
A week after the surgery, Abdo is now ready to leave India on his two feet.
Though the surgical procedures carried out on Abdo have been successful, there is always the risk of sickle cells reforming themselves. There is no permanent cure for the condition.