Many elderly persons, who have undergone knee replacement just a year ago, surprised many here recently when they performed Bhangra and Gidda on stage.
The event was part of the 'Friends of Fortis Meet', organized by the orthopedics department of the Mohali-based Fortis Hospital in Chandigarh.
The programme intended to convey the message that it is possible to regain joy in life despite problems. One should get treated at the earliest in case of joint problems instead of leading a miserable life.
Attired in traditional Punjabi costumes, a group of patients who had undergone joint replacement, aged 60 to 75, performed lively Bhangra and Gidda performances and left the audience in surprise.
"When we started it four days ago, I was little nervous, but nothing bad happened. I am absolutely fine. I am not feeling tired and I don't have any pain in my knees. I am enjoying like every normal person. For the first time, we have got a chance to meet the people who have got their knees operated and I feel very happy to meet them all," said Lakhwant Kaur, who underwent knee surgery earlier and recovered.
"I got this pain while playing football back in 1962, and since then, I was struggling hard. I was thinking whether to get my knee operated or not, but Mr. Wadhwa suggested that I go in for the operation. My height has increased after the operation. I feel I was just wasting my life earlier but now I am living it in a better way. I am doing exercise and yoga also. There is nothing to be worried about," said Balwant Jassal, another receoverd patient after knee surgery.
There are over 25 million arthritis patients in India, and by 2011 over 66 million people in the country aged 65 and above are anticipated to suffer from the disease.
The doctors are concerned about the increase in the number of patients suffering from arthritis.
"People have arthritis and the number is in crores who have it. The issue is not just finances; the issue basically is lack of confidence level. It's a perception in mind that I an get well after surgery, so I wanted to show them that what we are trying to do is that it is not that you will be walking, you will be driving a car, you will go up and down the hills and you will be bicycling," said Dr. Manuj Washwa, Orthopedician with Fortis Hospital in Mohali.
"What we wanted to show is you can go to the extreme levels like dancing on the floor or Punjabi rap like Bhangra also, which you can perform on stage, so that was the amount of confidence we are giving to country that in our country we have the facilities, infrastructure, expertise available now for people to get rid of arthritis and adopt a good quality life," said Dr. Washwa added.
Doctors have predicted a grim future for those above 55 years in India, particularly in Punjab, as far as prevalence of arthritis is concerned.
It is advised that people should take up exercises and include swimming, yoga and cycling in their daily life to prevent arthritis, especially in those families where the joint problem is hereditary.
The Arthritis Foundation of India states that it aims to put arthritis on the national health agenda, given its magnitude and effects. The disease has already assumed endemic proportions and surpasses diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension and even cancer.