A 104-year-old Saudi Arabia national was successfully operated on for simultaneous knee replacements at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital-Powai, Mumbai, on August 31. The patient, Tahir Ali Alhashim, had advanced osteoarthritis that left him bedridden and in pain for the last five years.
Though many doctors were consulted, none of them were prepared to operate due to the advanced age of the person. "He is the first person over 100 to undergo a bilateral knee replacement surgery and that too at one go," says Dr. Sanjeev Jain, orthopedic and joint replacement surgeon, who carried out the surgery.
Despite being above 100 years old, Tahir Ali Alhashim had no medical issues except blood pressure, which made the doctor deem Tahir fit for the surgery. Post-surgery, Tahir has already been mobilized and can walk on his own to the bathroom.
Recent years have seen an uptick in the number of elderly patients seeking knee or hip replacement surgeries. 15-20% of the patients who come for knee replacement surgery are over 81 years of age. "Since the life expectancy of people has increased, it makes sense for them to go for such surgeries," says Dr Jain.
India is a popular destination for knee replacement procedures. The presence of quality orthopedic surgeons who are well-versed in the latest technology, procedure, and surgical techniques, along with affordable costs and ease of travel are some of the reasons for rising numbers of medical tourists visiting India for knee replacement surgeries.