”Shoulder pain is a fairly common problem and affects the patient’s daily activities and work routine. The two groups that suffer most from this problem are middle-aged or elderly patients and sportsmen.” This was stated by Dr M.A. Wajid, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, at ‘Signs, Symptoms and Care’, a health awareness programme held at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) on December 4, 2004 in Karachi.
Dr. M A Wajid, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, AKU, speaking on common shoulder problems and its modern treatment.
“Amongst middle-aged people, wear and tear of shoulder muscles leads to an inability to perform overhead activities,” continued Dr Wajid. He added that such patients are also unable to sleep on the affected side and face difficulty in dressing themselves.
“The other group affected is sportsmen, primarily throwing athletes and cricket bowlers.” Another special group comprises patients whose shoulders were previously dislocated and now suffer from repeated dislocation with minimal trauma, Dr Wajid explained. “These conditions are treatable and after careful assessment and treatment, such patients can revert to their normal activities,” he disclosed.
Panellists answer the audience’s questions at ‘Signs, Symptoms and Care’ a health awareness programme held at Aga Khan University Hospital.
Only in recent years, Dr Wajid added, it has it become possible to treat such conditions through medication, rehabilitation and arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery. “The key advantage here is that it is a day care procedure. The patient goes home the same day and there are two or three small holes through which the whole procedure is performed, resulting in less pain and early movement,” he concluded.
As part of its outreach programme and societal commitment to creating awareness of early diagnosis and timely treatment, AKU has organised over 150 ‘Signs, Symptoms and Care’ programmes in Karachi, Hyderabad and the UAE, benefiting more than 33,000 people. Similarly, Aga Khan University Hospital’s Patient Welfare Programme reaches out to patients by providing assistance to those patients who are unable to afford the medical cost of their treatment. In 2003, 74 per cent of all patients treated at the AKUH were from low- to middle-income areas. Since the inception of this welfare programme in 1986, over Rs. 1.05 billion has been disbursed to more than 200,000 needy patients.