UAE: 88-year-old breaks hip joint into 20 pieces, undergoes complex surgery

Dubai - Doctors completed the operation in just two hours with minimal blood loss

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Wed 9 Jun 2021, 12:14 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Jun 2021, 12:21 PM

Doctors at a hospital in Dubai recently performed a highly complex hip reconstruction on an 88-year-old patient who had a fall at home and broke her hip joint into 20 pieces.

Apart from the multiple fractures, what made the surgery more complex was the fact that the senior citizen was diabetic, hypertensive, had cardiac issues, and also Thalassemia minor with history of bilateral breast cancer. The patient, Saeeda Ahmed Wahab, had also undergone a bilateral knee replacement surgery 12 years ago.

Wahab was brought to at Dubai’s International Modern Hospital (IMH) past midnight after she fell at home that caused severe damage to her left hip joint, it was shattered into 20 pieces leading her to experience severe pain and leaving her completely immobile.

Explaining the case, Dr Ehab Shehata, an orthopaedic surgeon at IMH, who performed the complex surgical procedure, said: “ After going an X-ray of pelvis and CT scan we found that her left hip joint was broken in multiple pieces, with severe displacement and shortening of the left lower limb by about 5cm. Older patients can suffer from this type of complex fractures due to the weakness of bones. The radiological and clinical evaluation showed severe multiple unstable fractures of left upper part of thigh bone near the hip joint, with fragmentation of inner supporting bony structure.”

Talking about the challenging case, Dr Ehab said: “The fracture pattern in this particular patient was challenging because of high incidence of morbidity and mortality. The patient had a bilateral total knee replacement which meant we could not use a traction table, which serves an important role during such procedures. Fixing the hip bone fractures was like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle and I used 1 mm wires and dynamic hip screws to hold the fractured pieces together. Due to her old age, multiple medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiac and breast cancer history and previous operations, I decided against total hip replacement surgery and instead used titanium plate to fix the bone.”

The miraculous operation was done in just two hours with minimal blood loss and the patient was discharged on the 5th day post operation after doctors ensured she could sit up and do some exercises. She is now recovering well and can move around in her house with the use of her walker.

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Dr Ehab Shehata with the patient and her son. Supplied photo
Dr Ehab Shehata with the patient and her son. Supplied photo

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