It was a re-birth of sort for the 26-year-old Yemeni, who after a successful operation in Fortis hospital – Mulund, walked after a long nine years. Abdo Yoseef Majeed suffers from a rare genetic disorder and retarded growth, leading to multiple fusion of joints that made him immobile.
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.”
And it was because of retarded growth that he looks like a 10-year-old boy, Dr Bhonsle explained.
“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 surgery in India.
“To reduce his abnormal hemoglobin, known as ‘hemoglobin S’ (HbS) to about 35%, a hematologist had to perform an exchange transfusion, which involves removing blood with HbS and replacing it with fresh blood (of compatible donors). 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 customised 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.
“I am walking out a happy man with my son who can now walk on his own. We will be flying to our country on Friday,” said Abdo’s father.
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.
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