Chennai, Mar 6: A team of doctors at a private specialty hospital in the city has for the first time in Tamil Nadu, performed shoulder resurfacing procedure on an elderly South African woman using the famous Copeland prosthesis of the UK.

Talking to reporters here yesterday, Bharathi Rajaa Speciality Hospital Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon Dr A K Venkatachalam, who headed the team, said the procedure was done on the right shoulder of 62-year-old Saleha Khatum, who had been suffering from osteo arthritis for the last four or five years.

''Both her shoulders were damaged by repeated injections of hydrocortisone, a steroid, which has caused damage to the bone joints,'' he said.

After going through the medical records, the resurfacing surgery was recommended as it preserved the bone. The team of doctors chose the popular Copeland prosthesis, made of cobalt chrome molybdenum and coated with Hydroxyapatite, which helped in natural bone growth.

This was the only surface replacement that had the longest follow-up of nearly 10 to 15 years.

The surgery lasting nearly an hour was performed on February 27.

It was done through a minimally invasive approach under general anaesthesia by making a small incision of about five to six cm at the top end of the arm bone (humerus).

Explaining the procedure, Dr Venkatachalam said a central hole was drilled and the humerus was shaped by cheese grating reamers. Then the prosthesis was impacted in.

''It costs just Rs 1.4 lakh, including the cost of prosthesis which comes to around Rs 45,000, and requires just 10 days of hospital stay,'' he said and added this was the safe option for young patients as this cementless implant utilised a patient's natural tissue growth.

Ms Khatum, who was also present, said several hospitals back home recommended shoulder replacement as a corrective option, but she could not opt for it as it was expensive. It cost about 100,000 rands (about Rs five lakh).

''After surfing the internet, I came to know of the Bharathi Rajaa Speciality Hospital and Dr Venkatachalam and chose to come here.

''I am greatly relieved. There is absolutely no pain. I will be discharged in the next two days and I will come back after some time for the same procedure to my left shoulder,'' she added.

Please click here to request additional information from Dr. Venkatachalam.