36-year-old with avascular necrosis due to sickle cell anaemia gets a new lease of life – Saradhy
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36-year-old with avascular necrosis due to sickle cell anaemia gets a new lease of life

A 36-year-old woman named Nita Khurana(name changed), who is a resident of Kalyan, used to grapple with pain in her hip joint since 2012. She completely stopped sitting on the floor as getting up would be a task for her. Furthermore, she was also unable to walk or stand for long periods as the pain would worsen, forcing her to rest or take medications for relief. She was a known case of sickle cell anemia (SCA) and later, it was revealed that she suffered from avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip joint. A timely intervention by Dr Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, helped her get back on track.

SCA is an inherited disorder that affects hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying molecule in our blood. Due to presence of atypical hemoglobin, the shape of the red blood cells changes and they look like a ‘sickle,’ hence the name was derived. Owing to this abnormal hemoglobin and change in shape of the RBCs, the oxygen carrying capacity of blood is reduced leading to several systemic problems. It is known that red blood cells are destroyed more rapidly in SCA. The patient may acquire jaundice too. Moreover, these abnormally shaped RBCs are stiff and inflexible; therefore, may get stuck in small blood vessels, causing obstruction and subsequent pain, and this exactly happened in this patient’s case. SCA can affect several organ systems such as the heart, lungs, liver, musculoskeletal system etc., all of which may be associated with affecting the quality of life of the individual. Complications caused may sometimes be life-threatening and SCA lasts for the lifetime of the individual.

Leg pain gave a tough time to Nita Khurana, back in 2012. Soon, the pain became unbearable and she would find it difficult to stand for long or walk. She visited many orthopaedicians who advised her to undergo a hip replacement surgery (it is a surgical procedure to replace a worn out or damaged hip joint with an artificial joint). However, the patient was unwilling to go under the knife as she was aware of the risks of surgery due to her sickle cell status. Moreover, previously, she had undergone a laparoscopic surgery for a different systemic issue, which was followed by a difficult healing period. Her ordeal kept on continuing to the extent that she would struggle to carry out her daily chores. To her dismay, she also experienced chest and back pain. But, as said, there is light at the end of the tunnel, likewise, while browsing the internet, she came to know about Dr Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, and visited him in November 2018.

Dr Pradeep Mahajan, said, “Living with SCA was challenging for her as she would often get tired, experience body pain, and was prone to infections. Not only this, she was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis (AVN), due to obstruction in the flow of blood to the hip joint. AVN can be termed as the death of bone tissue due to interruption of the blood supply.”

The family was explained about cell-based therapy for management of various conditions by Dr. Mahajan.

“Cells in our body are capable of self-renewal and regeneration of damaged structures. Therapy based on these cells and growth factors (consider them as nutrients for cells/tissues) follows the principle that our body has an innate regenerative potential. The main goal is to harness the potential of endogenous repair mechanisms to promote tissue regeneration.”

“The patient underwent cell-based therapy and gradually noticed that her general body pain reduced considerably. Moreover, pain in her hip joint subsided, and she could freely move her legs. The patient was advised to exercise regularly, by the physiotherapist, in order to ensure flow of blood to the joint,” he added.

The holistic protocol comprising of cells, growth factors, physiotherapy, dietary modifications, and stimulation-based therapies have helped in healing of the joint. The best part is that the patient does not have to undergo hip replacement surgery.

Dr. Mahajan said, “Cells have anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and other paracrine properties. With regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy, the natural healing mechanisms are harnessed in the body. The days of going under the knife will soon be replaced by injection of these multi-potent molecules!”

“After taking treatment from Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, my pain substantially reduced. Earlier, I would find it difficult to stand for a long or walk. I would take a painkiller after every 15 days, and now, I haven’t taken a single one. There is no pain or weakness now. Moreover, I can also carry out my real-world activities with ease. I feel energetic and I would like to thank Dr. Mahajan for helping me stand on my feet,” concluded patient Nita Khurana.

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