Covid fear: Docs treat woman who delayed broken elbow for months

Doctors at a private hospital in the national capital successfully performed a total elbow replacement on a 62-year-old woman, who had delayed treatment of her dislocated elbow for eight months out of fear of contracting coronavirus.

The woman, Akhtari Ali, was suffering from a chronic neglected elbow dislocation with multiple fractures and ligament injuries. She had neglected the treatment for dislocated elbow for over eight months owing to the fear of Covid-19.

According to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, these injuries of the elbow are severe as they can result in long term disabilities and total paralysis, hence need to be treated immediately.

“The presence of various comorbidities in the patient made the management of the case more challenging and she had diabetes mellitus, was on chronic antidepressants,” Dr. Vipul Vijay, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics Department, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital said in a statement.

The main challenge was that the patient was unaware of her diabetes at the time of presentation which had to be managed before planning the surgery.

Since the elbow joint was completely destroyed due to the injury, the patient had to be treated with total elbow replacement.

“Total elbow replacement is in itself a rare surgery and this is the first reported case of management of an elbow dislocation with terrible triad with an elbow replacement,” said Dr Vijay.

A team of orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeons led by Dr. Vijay, successfully performed a total elbow replacement within the time frame.

“The Covid pandemic has already forced many patients with urgent medical needs to be neglected. This leads to increasing the morbidity of the patient,” Vijay said.

According to the hospital, there has been an increase in the number of people by at least 20 per cent coming in with prolonged ligament injury but either were too scared to visit the hospitals or were unable to get medical attention due to the lockdown.

“We have been seeing a minimum of 10-15 such patients monthly, for the past two months, which is a way more than what we used to have earlier,” the doctors noted.

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