The other week, I have been discussing rheumatoid arthritis to my mother. What it does to the joints and what are the possible and available course of treatment. I told her time will come that joints can be replaced and so humans will become semi-robots of some sorts. But then I really know that this isn’t a far possibility and must really be happening or in the works already in some parts of the world.
Since not all parts of the body can be replaced by a donor, simply because of the shortage of available compatible donor even in first world countries. This was when I just saw the documentary on National Geographic on the trade of body organs such as liver, kidney, etc.
Luckily for bones and joints – if it cannot be grown in the lab yet – it can be replaced by metal or other materials. Maybe not in all cases, but it is a workable possibility.
And then I read the story of this ‘bionic woman’: Eileen Brown, 49, of Boldon, South Tyneside, has had more than a dozen operations over the past two decades. The only joints that remain her own are her left hip and left elbow.
She was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the late 1980s after suffering pain in one of the fingers on her left hand.
Three years later the pain had become so unbearable that surgeons decided to replace her knuckle with a plastic joint.
The operation was the start of a radical transformation. Her next operation was to have a metal knee replacement. Shortly afterwards she was given a metal joint in her left shoulder, and soon after that a similar implant in her right shoulder.
Five years ago she suffered a major setback after falling from a ladder. The impact broke the metal joint in her left shoulder and the bone in the upper arm.
Wow. I knew a guy in college who had metal in his arm that replaced a part of his bone. He got some discomforts. Not to mention the embarrassment when you pass by metal scanners in airports, for example.
Truly I am amazed by Eileen Brown’s story. I just wish that what was done to her can be done to everyone in the world that has got rheumatoid arthritis like her. All the surgeries and procedures done on her is for sure, not cheap.
But then, arthritis shouldn’t come to that — joint replacement and all. If screened or diagnosed as early as possible, rheumatoid arthritis can still be managed. I could be wrong, let us not forget that rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative joint disease. However, it is good to know that in cases of worst scenario, there’s joint replacement as an option.