A leading specialist in Panaji suggested that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee increased the awareness of knee replacements in India after undergoing the procedure when he was the prime minister.
Not just poet Vajpayee's rhyme and meter and his trademark pregnant pauses inspired Indians. His knee replacement surgeries also did, the specialist said.
By undergoing a much publicised knee replacement surgeries, Vajpayee became India's poster boy for the advanced surgical intervention and it inspired a lot of Indians to undergo the surgery, Dr. Ameya Velingker said Wednesday.
Speaking to IANS Wednesday on the sidelines of a knowledge exchange programme featuring knee replacement specialists from the US and Goa, Velingker said the surgeries on Vajpayee created a lot of interest and awareness about the procedure in India, where over 70,000 persons undergo knee replacements annually now.
In 2001, Vajpayee underwent a replacement procedure on his left knee at the Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai. US-based orthopaedic surgeon C.S. Ranawat carried out the much written and talked about operation. Ranawat was subsequently awarded a Padma Bhushan in 2001.