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In an unprecedented and extremely rare surgery in India, doctors at a Mumbai hospital removed cucumber-sized stones from a 70-year-old man’s right knee and made him mobile again.
The patient – Laxmikant Madhekar, a labourer from Amravati – had been suffering from severe pain in the right knee for a year, preceded by swellings for the past decade or so.
“It affected his overall mobility, difficulties in walking, climbing stairs, or even getting up after sitting,” said S.L. Raheja Hospital, Mahim’s Consultant Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr Siddharth M. Shah.
After the patient was admitted to the hospital, Dr Shah conducted tests, diagnosed the problem as an extremely rare condition called ‘Multiple Giant Synovial Chondromatosis’ of the knee joint, and prepared a suitable treatment plan for Madhekar.
He explained that this condition affects one person in every 1,00,000 people in which the inner lining of the knee joint produces nodules of cartilage instead of the normal secretion of a lubricating fluid.
“These modules break off, become loose bodies inside the knee, usually small like pills or bigger ones the size of a marble. In Madhekar’s case, there were multiple, giant nodules, more prominent in size, which is an even rarer variant of this condition,” said Dr Shah.
For instance, the largest stone size extracted from Madhekar was 12x6x5.5 cms which had to be broken and removed in two pieces, and a total of four such giants and dozens of smaller stones were taken out of his knee joint.
Such massive and multiple stones, along with the entire inner lining of the knee are unknown to have been removed from the knee joint anywhere in India and this is stated to be the second-largest knee-stone removal in the world, Dr Shah added.
The much-relieved Madhekar said he underwent immense suffering since 2010 and felt there was a lot of liquid in his knee joint resulting in swells and discomforts in his movements.
Initially, the water was removed through an injection, but it did not offer any long-term solutions and greatly affected his movements after which he came to the Mumbai hospital and underwent the successful ‘knee-stone’ removal procedures.
Besides taking out the huge stones, Dr Shah also performed a total knee replacement surgery on Madhekar as the knee joint was damaged due to osteoarthritis caused by the stones and damaging the joint cartilage.
“The surgery was performed on March 10 and the patient is well on his way to recovery. He will now be able to walk and perform his daily activities without any pain or discomfort,” said Dr Shah.