Tigist, an interior designer by profession, owns big projects in Ethiopia. She is married and has everything to keep her busy and happy in life. Until a few months she started having severe pain in her right shoulder. Tigist has a history of an injury in her shoulder due to a tragic fall in her childhood. However, she was on pain medications for years. Her injury was epiphyseal. Epiphysis are areas located at the ends of long bones, in which new bone is produced. Due to the trauma in her pre-adolescent bones, the growth of her adult bones was not normal.
Describing her condition, she said, “in 2020, I began having pain in my right shoulder and went to the local Orthopaedic doctor. The local doctor did my MRI and after reviewing the scan, he told me my rotator cuff was completely damaged and I should undergo a shoulder replacement surgery. I was at the peak of my career, and the thought of the risks of the surgery scared me. Also, in Ethiopia, we don’t have advanced medical facilities, so I dropped the idea of surgery, instead went for physical therapy.”
She did intense physical therapy, followed a step-by-step regime along with pain medications for about six months. But everything was in vain. She was just avoiding the surgery. ? Her pain became severe. She had Osteoarthritis. Every morning she woke up tired, her work and overall quality of life suffered and she was deteriorating fast. It was the time, Tigist decided to find a permanent solution to her problem.
Support by The MedX Health Assistance
In the process to find the best possible treatment for Tigist, her husband thought of taking her to a different place for treatment. He opted for a medical tourism option and checked with the local doctors. In October 2020, he came across the MedX health assistance and fixed a meeting with them. The MedX team took Tigist’s case on priority and organized a video-consultation with a renowned Orthopaedic surgeon in India. Tigist’s MRI reports were shared along with her injury history. After reviewing her condition, doctors suggested she visit India and get the treatment done. The MedX team assured them of the best treatment at an advanced state-of-the-art Orthopaedics facility in New Delhi, India.
After all the preliminary discussions, Tigist was convinced to travel to India, she was accompanied by her husband. The MedX team organized the medical Visa along with all the important travel requirements. They were also provided a local sim card, language interpreter, and accommodation in the vicinity of the hospital.
The Treatment Plan in India
After her arrival to India in Jan 2021, Tigist was admitted to Max Hospital, New Delhi. She was admitted under the expert team of Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Narain. She underwent routine investigations and a fresh MRI scan was done. She was planned for a reverse right shoulder Arthroplasty.
Reverse shoulder arthroplasty or shoulder replacement is a surgery done to remove portions of the bones of the shoulder joint that are arthritic (missing cartilage). The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint, with a ball (or humeral head) that is part of the humerus and a flat surface (which is called the socket) that is part of the shoulder blade. In a reverse arthroplasty, the ball is placed on the socket side of the joint. This is opposite where it is located in nature, or “reverse” of what you would expect. The socket is then placed on the arm side where it is supported by a metal stem in the arm bone (the humerus). Thus, the ball and socket are reversed from what occurs in nature.
Reverse shoulder arthroplasty is a complex surgery, but the results are outstanding. The surgery helps in pain reduction and improves the quality of life.
Tigist responded well to the surgery. Her post-operative period was uneventful. She was monitored in the ICU and was shifted to the hospital room after a day. Her recovery is now dependent on the physical therapy and post-operative instructions she has to follow. Her post-operative X-ray was satisfactory. She started light exercises and movement of the new joint. After 3 days of the surgery, she was planned to be discharged from the hospital. She was shifted to accommodation near the hospital as arranged by the MedX team.
Tigist was asked to continue the physical therapy and a physiotherapist would visit her twice daily. She had to visit the hospital for stitch removal after 20 days of the surgery.
Life After the Treatment
Tigist was in better shape as compared to her pre-surgery time. She had no complaints of pain and was slowly moving her shoulders. For her fast recovery, the first three months are most crucial. She was given a personalized exercise program and was recommended to continue physical therapy in Ethiopia.
Tigist was happy and said, “I am truly thankful to the expert Orthopaedic surgeons and the MedX team for the best treatment given to me. I can’t begin to describe how happy and amazed I am with the results. They have saved me from a life of agony and inability to perform the activities I love to do. I know the recovery period is not going to be easy but I am going to make it slowly. I will continue the exercise and follow all the instructions. I love my new shoulders and look forward to having full use of my arms in every direction with absolutely no pain. What they did for me was tenfold better than what I had expected. It is miraculous!”
It will take three months for Tigist to regain muscle strength and by the end of six months, she will be able to perform all the activities that require shoulder movements. The MedX team has organized a local physiotherapist in Ethiopia for her. After a stay of a month in India, she is ready to go back to her country.
The MedX team is in regular touch with Tigist and coordinates follow-up consultations with the Indian doctors.