Naida Khatoon had experienced bouts of excruciating pain, along with numbness of the right leg for the last 6 months. When her knee began to swell causing great discomfort, she was taken to AIIMS.
Here, Naida knew from MRI scans and biopsies that she was suffering from advanced cancer of the patella, a very rare condition.
She was given two options, both horrific; walk with the help of a caliper all her life or never be able to bend her knee.
Tumors of patella (the bone forming the kneecap which is vital for mobility of the knee joint) are uncommon and just about 400 cases have been reported worldwide in the last century.
Most of these cases were treated by either curettage (removal of tumor while preserving most of original bone), patellectomy (removal of the bone forming the kneecap) by fusion of knee joint or even amputation.
Says Dr Rajesh Malhotra, professor of orthopedics, AIIMS: "The giant cell tumor had completely destroyed Naida's patella and tendon which connects the kneecap to the shin bone. The patella had become a pulp. Curettage or simple patellectomy was not possible as the disease was very advanced. The priority was to remove the cancerous kneecap with a wide margin to ensure complete cure from cancer.
" But the removal of the tumor would have left her with a non-existent kneecap and tendon and subsequent life-long deformity," Dr Malhotra adds.
The doctors were able to perform a landmark reconstruction surgery using substitute parts available in the institute's bone bank. These were donated by a 52-year-old doctor who died in January. "We reconstructed a knee joint which is natural in appearance and function. Naida didn't have to sacrifice her knee movements. She can now walk around freely," says an elated Dr Malhotra.
The All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, easily India's premier medical institute
has comprehensive facilities for teaching, research and patient-care.
In the field of medical research , AIIMS has the lead, having more than 600 research publications by its faculty and researchers in a year.
Twenty-five clinical departments including four super specialty centers manage practically all types of disease conditions with support from pre- and Para-clinical departments.