Thursday, July 14: Kpandai

So far this week, approximately 40 patients have come through the clinic, and to be honest, we have really been enjoying the pace of our work here. It has given us much more one-on-one time with our patients, to properly educate them and to make sure they understand the exercises that we have prescribed for them. This afternoon, half of the local high soccer team came into the clinic to get treatment for their sports related injuries before their big competition in Tamale next month. We saw ankle sprains and knee ligament injuries, and it was fun to take a visit back to my sports medicine roots. It was also refreshing to treat young, healthy patients with acute conditions that we actually had the ability to manage and the resources to treat them in the short time we are here.

This is not always the case. Yesterday morning, we saw two patients, both suffering from hip fractures after falling off of their motorbikes about nine months ago. One man was actually fortunate enough to be treated by a team of travelling British orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists. However, he was not told what surgical procedure was performed, and was not given a proper exercise routine when he was discharged. The other man decided to rely on traditional African herbs, a common practice here in Ghana before turning to medical treatment. It was ultimately useless, and unfortunately after nine months, both still have difficulty weight-bearing on their affected legs, and both ended up with significant leg length abnormalities. There are no orthopaedic doctors here in the north, or even x-ray machines. We simply prayed for them before sending them off with exercise routines, hoping that the exercises will be able to be sufficient to reduce their pain. This is all part of living in this part of the world.


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