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Indian resurface hippie returns whole and bionic

Healthbase Patient Jane Schaffer, Yoga Guru

Dr. Vijay C. Bose , Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Chennai, India

 BIG BIG THANK YOUS TO ALL OF YOU and all of my many unbelievably supportive friends and health professionals. The saga in brief: After 4 years of being told I had herniated discs causing sciatic pain, my Thai massage therapist, Mr. Brian Rahm, noticed that all the tight muscles in my body were around my hip, suggested I get a hip xray and consider resurfacing. I got the xray and sure enough my hip joint was bone on bone, no cartilege left. No wonder I had big pain and trouble walking! Indian resurface hippie returns whole and bionic

Then the discussion about whether to have a full on hip replacement (which is insurance reimbursed for people my age) or try to get the hip resurfaced. After much discussion and extensive online research, I determined that hip resurfacing was the answer: it preserves as much of the body as possible, covering the aceteblum and femoral head after the arthritic material is grated off and since the new covering is metal, chrome and cobalt, it should have a life time guarantee (versus hip replacement which may last 5-15 years depending on usage).

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Healthbase  Dr. Bose 

Jane (2nd from right) with  Dr. Bose (2n from left) and  Dr Bapuji (1st from at right)

Next question was where to have it done? I eventually chose a surgeon in Chennai, India. Working through a medical tourism agency, ( - and you will get a phone call from "Moe"), my xrays and medical history were sent to surgeons all over the world. Dr. VIjay Bose at Apollo Specialty Hospital in India was the only one to immediately say YES!, no problem. In fact, the only one. Others were concerned about my age, (64), about my bone health, (I have been diagnosed with osteopenia), my kidney functioning (I`ve had 2 incidents of kidney stones - 35 years apart!). Dr Bose understood that I am a healthy 64 year old, who teaches yoga. He explained that of course my bone health would have been compromised if I could not walk for several years (which had been the case - I could stand but any walking longer than one block was excruciatingly painful). I also was able to contact someone locally(!), an ICU nurse, who had had the very same operation 4 years ago! That was very cool. And although the orthopedic doc in Rutland said: "Well, I wouldn`t want my mother having surgery in a third world country" as I was doing my research, I began to realize that not people from all over the world are seeking out the wonderful medical treatment available in countries where health care is focused on health not on illness. The docs are trained in the US or in England and they are extremely proficient, returning, in Dr. Bose`s case, to his home town where he could assist many people who suffered from a congenital hip malformation which rendered them crippled for life.

 Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Healthbase  Dr. Bose

Jane taking rest

So all things fell into place for me to proceed to India: My friend, Roland, an anesthesiologist, told me how impressed he has been by Indian doctors; My dearest friend Mary was free to accompany me; I have the most blessed teachers to fill in for me at the studio while I`m gone, another friend could stay with my two poodles, my energetic friend Ruth Ann transported us to JFK and met us upon our return!

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Healthbase  Dr. Bose Execercise 

Jane doing physiotherapy

In India: We flew and Indian airline, Jet Airways - wonderful (arranged by Lisa Verschoor of Avalon Travel). Arrived midnight, the hospital transported us to our business hotel. We slept, took a walk and got lost immediately in the hustle and bustle of Chennai, toured around for 2 ays with a car and driver, had an Ayuvedic massage(wow) and then both entered the hospital. Mary lived in my room (and smoked on the roof). We had all the amenities plus a microwave, coffee maker and fridge. Food was great and every day, masala tea in the afternoon.

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Apollo Specialty  Hospital Hall

Apollo Specialty Hospitals Hall

Apollo Specality Dr Bapuji was my anesthesiologist which made me feel totally confident as the affectionate name for Swami Kripalu is "Bapuji". Dr. Bala was the doc who changed my dressing. And there were 7 "sisters": Mrs. Rajesware, Ms. Hemavathi, Ms Mani Megalai, Ms. Sharmila, Ms. Saraswathi, Ms. Iris Ananthi and Ms. Sree Ranga who watched over me day and night. And of course it was always comforting to look over and see Mary`s familiar face.

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Apollo Specialty  Hospital Staff

Apollo Specialty Hospitals Staff

The operation was a success and now I have a beautiful (at least looking at the xray-metal socket and femoral cover). Dr. Bose`s belief in maintaining as much of the body as possible means that he has also developed a methodology for preserving the bursa which is the covering around the joint (Dr. Bose`s specialty is complex joints - hip, shoulder, knee). He`s awesome.

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Apollo Specialty  Hospital Staff 

 Apollo Specialty Hospitals Staff

I was able to, with PAIN, take a few steps on day 1 post op using a walker. After that first day, there was not so much pain, just discomfort if I over extended. But from day one, I was permitted to put full weight on my leg.

 Every day I was visited by Dr. Bose  1 or 2 times and by a physical therapist, either S.K. Pandian  or Sri Vatsan twice a day to assist me with my exercising. I stayed in hospital 7 days, was released using 2 arm crutches and wearing those elegant white stockings, TEDS. Mary and I transferred (in the hospital van) to a comfortable beach resort ganesh shrineganesh shrineabout 1 hour south of Chennai. We could hear the waves from our room and altho I could arrange myself to sit on the beach, I never did master the dining room and so we took most of our meals on our verandah. Mohan Kumar was the administrative person, who I call the "fixer". Whenever we had a need or question, he found an answer: from where to eat dinner, to how to bill my insurance company.

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Apollo Specialty  Hospital Staff Mr. Mohan 

 Apollo Specialty Hospitals - Mr. Mohan

Now I am about 41/3 weeks out from the surgery and I am walking without crutches, doing quite a bit but find myself tiring out quickly. I`ve had the luxury of being able to recuperate at my own pace with friends cooking and visiting and weeding my garden and driving me around and helping me with my physical therapy and even making me new curtains for my bedroom.

Vermont  Jane Hip Resurfacing  Apollo Specialty  Hospital Staff Mr. Pandian 

Apollo Specialty Hospitals - Mr. Pandian

In many way this journey has been the deepest pilgrimage I have ever taken and I took it in complete trust and confidence, with no fear. Chennai, once Madras, is in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is more provincial in some ways than other parts of India and it is common for people to feel and express the spiritual connections to their gods and goddesses, to actually practice their spiritual beliefs. One night, I could not sleep and somehow deep in the night I am certain that I heard Siva arising out of the water, joining the City of Chennai and singing me to health and healing. I guess that`s ultimately why I trusted going to India. 


Jane Hip Resurfacing  Recovery Ideal Beach Resort 

Ideal Beach Resort for the Hip Resurfacing Recovery

 Thanks and if you have questions and wonder if this might be a path for you: call me.

Jane Schaeffer
The Yoga Place


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