New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) A 34-year-old patient from Delhi who was bedridden for six months with a severely debilitating ailment has been able to walk for the first time after undergoing a complex surgery here, hospital authorities said on Sunday.

The patient, Sunil Kumar, a resident of south-west Delhi, was not even able to bend his neck when he was brought to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, they said.

"He was completely bedridden for six months with intense pain in both hip and leg region and whole body ache. He was eating and drinking all lying down and was unable to perform daily basic needs. Even toilet privileges were being given by turning patient sideways," the hospital said in a statement.

His spine from neck to pelvis was completely fused and he was not even able to bend his neck. His both hip joints were fused, thus rendering the patient as a "complete 'block of bone'," it said.

The patient was diagnosed with "severe-grade ankylosisng spondilitis, a condition in which all central joints of the body become one block if left untreated," the hospital said.

According to Anant Kumar Tiwari, Senior Consultant, Joint Replacement Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, "It is estimated that about 40 lakh people in India suffer from ankylosisng spondilitis. If untreated, it leads to serious impairment of movement impacting the quality of life. The sad part is that it is commonly seen in young working population."

Hip-joint replacement procedures were planned and done on January 25 and 27 so that lower limbs can bend at the hips, and the patient could be made to sit and walk, the statement said.

"Uncemented ceramic total hip replacement was done which took almost six hours. Hips were made fully mobile in all directions by cutting the bones and releasing all the contracted soft tissues," it said.

"This was a challenging surgery, as due to the disease, pelvis and femur had become one bone and it was very difficult to demarcate the hip position," the hospital said.

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