Relief for Nigerian suffering from arthritis since childhood, surgery in Bengaluru successful


By Express News Service

BENGALURU: A 20-year-old Nigerian who was suffering from a childhood rheumatic disease, which can cause arthritis before the age of 16, has undergone a successful hip replacement surgery at a private children’s hospital in Bengaluru.

Mohammed Okumbe (name changed) hailing from Nigeria had recently visited Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Marathahalli. He was wheelchair-bound and unable to walk due to a rare but debilitating condition called Juvenile Spondyloarthropathy. Juvenile Spondyloarthritis (JSpA), also known as Juvenile Spondyloarthropathy, is the medical term for a group of childhood rheumatic diseases, which cause arthritis before the age of 16 and may span through adult life. JSpA typically causes pain and inflammation in the joints in the lower part of the body.

“Unfortunately, Okumbe’s condition was not recognised and treated on time in his country. Due to advanced hip arthritis, he required total hip replacement surgery, which is rare for a 20-year old. In fact, this surgery had to be followed up by rehabilitation for a period of two months,” a release from Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Marathahalli, said.

Okumbe has returned to his home country and continues to be under follow-up through tele-consultation.

Dr Jayanth S Sampath, Senior Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Marathahalli, said early detection is key in arthritis cases. Referring to the Nigerian patient’s case Dr Sampath said, “Once the joint damage is advanced, surgical procedures to preserve or replace the joint becomes necessary. Hence, it is important for parents to seek advice to treat arthritis in the early stages and prevent permanent joint damage.” Speaking about the case, Dr. Chandrika Bhatt, Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologistsaid, “Arthritis can affect children and young adults as well. If not treated at the right time, it can lead to long term problems with joint mobility. In the early stages, the disease can be controlled with medicines alone.”

Doctors advise parents to look out for symptoms and immediately consult a doctor. The common symptoms of juvenile spondyloarthritis include arthritic pain, especially around the heels or toes, around the knee and in the lower back. Frequently, the first symptom is pain at the site where ligaments and tendons attach to the bone. Months or years later, other joints may be affected, particularly joints of the spine or sacroiliac joints. In the initial months, suffering children may witness inflamed, swollen joints like the knees and ankles. Doctors warn that this inflammation can cause permanent damage if left untreated.

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