HCMCT Manipal Hospitals Dwarka, a multi-specialty facility, recently treated a 23-year-old COVID-19 recovered patient suffering from avascular necrosis. While amidst the pandemic, AVN cases were on the rise and HCMCT Manipal Hospitals treated six patients successfully in a month, this case was a first for the team of doctors. The patient had visited the hospital in a more complicated condition as she had developed AVN in four joints – both knees and hips – and was bed-ridden by the time her treatment started.
At first, she experienced, mild pain in the right hip three weeks post COVID-19 recovery. Initially, she confused this pain with post-COVID symptoms. However, her condition continued to worsen over time when she failed to take pressure on the right leg and the pain gradually shifted to her left hip too followed by her right and left knee. Upon consulting Dr Rajeev Verma – HOD – Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement – at HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, she went through an MRI and radiographs. Post that, it was discovered that she had avascular necrosis in both her hip joints and knee joints for which, she was recommended a core decompression surgery.
Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a condition that results in bone death due to loss of blood supply. The leading cause for the same is use of a high doses of steroids for the treatment of severe COVID-19 related pneumonia. Several studies show that COVID-19 may also result in hypercoagulability – a condition that is an independent risk factor for developing AVN. Herein, after a few months of recovery from COVID-19, the patient experiences joint pains, mostly in hip and knee area. Over time, the pain can restrict physical activity with debilitating outcomes in terms of bone health. Aggressive procedures can be needed for treatment to regain mobility.
While talking about the surgery, Dr Rajeev Verma – HOD – Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement – said, “The patient had come to us in a critical condition as she developed swelling and pain in both hips and knees and was bed-ridden. After performing a three-hour long surgery, we were quite satisfied with the immediate post-operative response as the patient reported significant relief in her symptoms. We are happy to announce that the patient is doing well and recovering at the expected pace. We owe the success of this procedure to our top-notch infrastructure and patient’s determination to fight the pain.”