Dubai:27 year old Zaytuna from Uzbekistan had a fall in her home just three months after the birth of her baby girl, and had dislocated her knee. Unable to bear the pain, she visited Zulekha Hospital Dubai after the injury to consult Dr. Chidananda Shivashankar - Specialist Orthopaedician. She also had a history of frequent Knee cap dislocation for over 10 years. With recurrent knee pain and fear of dislocation many times she was wheelchair bound for prolonged period.
Sharing her painful experience, Zaytuna said, “At the age of 16 I had a fall while skating in the snow and dislocated my knee cap for the first time and was in severe pain all these years.”
Her diagnosis revealed that she had a very unstable patellofemoral joint due to which her knee was frequently dislocated. Prior to her surgery, Zaytuna had been on plaster for three weeks followed by a splint. She however did not feel confident to stand or walk for a whole month even after undergoing extensive physiotherapy. Hence Dr. Chidananda recommended the surgery to stabilize the injury and help her regain her limb function. After a MRI scan she was additionally diagnosed with certain congenital abnormalities in the patella area.
Dr. Chidananda explains, “When she initially dislocated her knee, the medial support was torn, even though it had healed, it healed in an elongated position, which made it easy for knee cap to come out often. Our body functions just like nuts and bolts. It was also easy for the patella to come out due to the fact that it was located higher than it should have been.”
Furthermore, there was a tear in the patello-femoral ligament as well. To regain the ligament function and stability, a medial patello-femoral ligament reconstruction was done. The procedure involved harvesting one of her tendons, preparing and then inserting as a double band into the kneecap and then into the thigh bone. This process reconstructs the ligament and heals it over time.
After four weeks of being on the splint followed by physiotherapy which went on for three months, she was confident of standing on her own feet without fear of the dislocation anymore. It has been a year now since the surgery she has not had any new dislocations.
Dr. Chidananda says, “Individuals having such injuries must immediately seek medical assistance at the onset itself to ensure faster recovery and normalcy of life rather than living in pain. It is better than increasing the risks of complications.”
Zaytuna says, “I was confident with the way I was educated about the injury and the procedure itself that gave me an assurance that I could get back to a normal happy life as a mother to my 15 month old baby Amina. I can walk and even run now without any fear.”
Zaytuna has suffered for over 10 years in pain and tried to manage her injury with elementary treatments before deciding to undergo surgical treatment. This is a common fear that prevails in the minds of people as surgery is always the last option we resort to. Expert advise in the right time is crucial to avoid complications as age progresses.