Shah Rukh Khan will undergo surgery on his right shoulder in a couple of days. The actor has a tear in his supraspintus ligament, which restricts his hand movements. What exactly ails the Badshah of Bollywood?
We spoke to Mumbai [Images] orthopaedic surgeon Dr Nicholas Antao, president of the Bombay Orthopaedic Society, to find out what's wrong with SRK [Images] and this is what he told us.
What is a Supraspintus ligament tear?
A shoulder has four types of tendons and muscles that help it rotate. Supraspintus is one of these muscles, and it helps the arm to move upwards and outwards. If there is a shoulder injury post-40 (SRK is 43), the blood supply to these muscles reduces. That results in lesser nutrients to that particular muscle, making it weaker and weaker.
If you have a supraspintus injury, it can be treated with medicine and physiotherapy. But if you use your arm a lot -- like in the case of athletes and dancers -- the injury can become severe. In such circumstances, if you fall on your shoulder or there is a sudden jerk, the tendon tears completely.
Surgery is not always required but it is recommended if the person's career is hampered.
Types of surgery:
There are two types of surgeries to treat this -- the first is called a key hole surgery, also known as arthroscopic surgery. This is done through a incision; the repair is treated by the doctor through a camera.
The second is a minor open surgery in which a doctor cuts the shoulder and corrects the torn tendon. The doctor may also put an anchor made of metal or plastic so that the patient can move his arm well. The surgery takes an hour.
The patient needs to be hospitalised for two days, and can go to work within seven days, provided he does not use that hand.
A minimum of three weeks of rest should be given to the affected shoulder after which rehabilitation work starts -- that is six weeks of physiotherapy. After three months, a patient can use his hand again. But in the case of an athlete, it should be used after six months.
Cost of surgery:
A hospital like Holy Spirit Hospital and Holy Family Hospital (middle-class hospitals in north-west Mumbai )will charge between Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000.
Dr Nicholas Antao is an orthopaedic surgeon, an arthroscopist and a sports medicine specialist at the Holy Spirit Hospital and Holy Family Hospital. He is also the president of the Bombay Orthopaedic Society.
Image: An illustration of a supraspintus ligament tear. Illustration: Uttam Ghosh