Majed Abdulla Al Mazrouei, a 33-year-old Emirati who suffered a complex knee injury that caused him so much pain he couldn’t walk, is now back on his feet and returning to his normal activities thanks to a procedure known as a meniscal allograft transplantation.
Majed Abdulla, who had previously undergone surgery on the same knee following a football injury in 2019, damaged his lateral meniscus again in September 2020 when he fell onto a hard surface during a dizzy spell.
He went from doctor to doctor seeking a solution as the pain was affecting his quality of life, and he did not like relying on pain killers. The possibility of travelling overseas for treatment was out of the question due to COVID-19-related restrictions at the time. Eventually, he was referred to Dr. Sebastian Orduna, a specialist orthopedic and arthroscopic surgeon at Healthpoint.
It was found that Majed Abdulla had such severe damage to his meniscus that it had to be removed, which put his knee at risk of future degeneration.
A meniscus is a wedge-shaped disc made of fibrocartilage that, in tandem with its partner – there are two in each knee - acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and thighbone. In addition, the menisci serve many important functions such as providing nutrition and lubrication to the knee joint and supporting weight distribution.
Removing the meniscus presents a problem as it results in a significant increase of pressure in the loading area and it can contribute to the development of pain, cartilage injury and osteoarthritis in the knee on a long-term basis. For this reason, Majed Abdulla was given a meniscal allograft transplantation, which had not previously been available in Abu Dhabi.
Majed Abdulla says, “Although this surgery hadn’t been undertaken in Abu Dhabi before, I was not worried as Dr. Orduna explained that in the US, the surgery had been performed since 1984 with excellent results. I also knew I was in good hands as Dr Orduna is very experienced and both he and Healthpoint are internationally accredited.”
The ideal patient group for a meniscal allograft transplantation includes patients under 40 years of age with knee pain following a past meniscus-removal surgery (a meniscectomy), and who have a normally aligned, stable joint without severe degenerative changes.
Following the successful transplant, Majed Abdulla is recovering well and is following post-op physiotherapy protocol, visiting the physio center at Healthpoint three times a week and performing prescribed supplementary exercises at home to ensure an excellent result.
He says: “The pain has already reduced dramatically, I am able to walk with a stick, and should be walking normally in four to six weeks from the operation date. I have even been able to drive. I want to share my story so that anyone else who is suffering from this will know it is now possible to have such surgeries performed at right here in Abu Dhabi, in a COVID-free hospital.”
Dr. Orduna says the long-term outlook for Majed Abdulla is very good, as patients internationally report improvement in pain and function in the short, intermediate and long term, with significantly improved outcomes at up to 15 years following the surgery.
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