In many instances, the work that hospitals and doctors do every day is about helping people recover. Whether it’s an illness or an injury, it’s about taking on a problem and fixing it for good. It’s about quality of life.
Unfortunately, there’s another reality that is prevalent, where medical professionals have to help a patient cope or manage a situation for long periods of time. This can be hard, because the patient still has to live with some hardship for a long period of time.
This was the case for Abdul and what eventually brought him to us here at the Paley Institute. Abdul, who is from Saudi Arabia, was originally born with a combination of a congenital short femur, as well as a short tibia with an absent fibula. In response, as a child he underwent surgery to stabilize his right hip joint, which at the time was his most pressing medical problem. He was later given an extension prosthesis to help him walk.
While this initial approach helped Abdul, it was not without its issues. Over the years, he had to cope with a variety of different prostheses, none of which were ideal.
“I was never quite comfortable with all those prostheses because they looked ugly and were too heavy,” Abdul said. “Moreover, I would have backaches and some pain in my right hip from time-to-time.”
Abdul, now 37, was eventually referred to our Dr. Paley from the Chief of Medical Affairs at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh. After examining Abdul, Dr. Paley knew he had an approach that could help. Dr. Paley recommended a treatment plan that targeted reconstruction of Abdul’s right hip, while also preparing his ankle joint to function as a knee joint.
Quality of Life
Abdul eventually underwent four surgeries over nine months, including a “super ankle,” “super hip,” knee freeze and rotationplasty. At the same time he also underwent a variety of physiotherapy sessions and was fitted with a new prostheses that was specially fitted to his body. Today, Abdul is optimistic about the future.
“On April 25, I plan to go back home to start a new life with a nice-looking prostheses, and for sure, a much better, functional situation, especially in my hip,” he said.