Vegans are not prone to fragile bones: Dr. Niraj Vora

Dr Niraj L Vora, a Bombay University Gold Medallist (in MS Orthopaedics), is an experienced Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgeon practising in Bombay.

Dr Vora has trained extensively in the UK, where he spent 15 years prior to his return to India in 2008. While in the UK, Dr Vora was also involved in the teaching and training of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

On his return, he joined the KDA Hospital in Bombay, where he set up the hip and knee replacement department and, in a short span of 3 years, carried out over 1000 joint replacement surgeries. This is in addition to the 2000 plus surgeries done while in the UK. (

Dr Niraj L Vora, answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive
chat. Read the transcript below.

My mummy suffers from neck spondylosis often. She gets temporary relief after medicine or wearing Neck support. Can’t we cure it?

Hi Mittal, maybe trying out alternate therapies like accupuncture may help. I would suggest that you speak to your specialist about it first.

I always have a pain in my left leg (just below the left side of the knee). Moreover, I feel cramp in muscles whenever I walk. When I press my sin bone with the thumb it also pains. Please suggest..

Hi Barun, I think you should get your levels of Vit D and B12 checked and see a specialist.

my wife has developed charcot foot. she has had multiple fractures and had to have cast twice in last 2 years. She is diabetic and had toe amputation earlier Kindly advice precaution to avoid its recurrence Dawar

Hi Kuldeep, I am very sorry to hear about this. The only thing to do is to ensure that the diabetes is strictly controlled and your wife wears protective footwear all the time so that there is no further injury to the foot. Good luck.

sir, i face spondolisys problem since last 20 days. Doctor’s give me the tablet and jelly to use at my left shoulder. Till toady , situation as same. No effect after taking the medicine. pls guide , what we happen. vishal

Hi Vishal, you need to go back to the doctor to report your progress, and maybe this needs further investigation in the form of an MRI scan.

Sir , i am suffering from tail bone pain , went to many doc. , it is painfull on the tip of the tail bone, it is very difficult sometime to sit with cross legs. Please tell me the solution or any treatment.

Hi. Sorry to hear of your problem, but this is a very difficult situation to treat. The best thing to do is to make sure you do not sit on any hard surfaces and so carry a cushion with you. This kind of pain can take a very long time to go away, and there is no operation that will help.

My age is 29yrs, I am havng disc herniation at C5-C6 with nerve compression and also at L5-S1, whether this problem may affect my sexual life as am getting married soon

Hi. If you are not having any leg pain, then it is unlikely to. However, it is best that you see a spinal specialist, with an up to date MRI scan, to be sure.

i have spondolytis. pl advise me medication

Hi Mahesh, you are best advised to see a specialist who can evaluate you and suggest the correct medication.

Second one. How we will fit our body by joint pain or body parts.

Hi Subodh, I’m sorry but I am unable to understand the gist of your question. Apologies.

This is for my brother who has been facing an overweight problem because they say his bones are heavy. He looks quite broad. When does this happen?

Hi Sivam, it would appear that your brother has been genetically blessed.

Till what age can one go for a trauma surgery?

Hi Sivam, trauma surgery can be done at any age, from cradle to grave.

Dear Sir, I want to know about Trauma surgery as to when it is prescribed and how effective is it? Actually we are planning to opt for it for my Dad who is 67yrs.

Hi Sivam, I am unable to understand your question. Trauma surgery is for a broken bone, and usually there is no question of planning to opt in or opt out.

And is it normal to get cramps over the leg areas pre, during and post menstrual cycle? Thank you.

Hi Sunayna, yes it is. Having a tablet of Diclofenac is known to help.

Sir, My mother is around 47 years old,weight is approx. 65-70kg,and BP patient. She is suffering from backbone pain. what is reason and what is the solution.

It is quite likely related to poor posture, muscle tone and/or vitamin deficiency. Please ask her to see a specialist.

Hello Doctor, I am a woman aged 41yrs. Recently with the change of seasons I have witnessed that my joints feel stiff in the mornings when I wake up.Is it normal?

Yes, with the change of season, some people do report these symptoms. So long as they are transient in nature, nothing needs to be done.

She is very fond of exercises and walking. She goes to the gym too. Will she be able to do cardio vascular and other gym exercises after the knee surgery?

Hi. Yes, she will be able to do low impact exercises, light workouts with weights etc, about 3-6 months following the surgery.

If she opts for it, what are the precautions she needs to take before and after the surgery?

Mainly, she needs to ensure that she is regular in the post-op rehabilitation process and remains mobile inspite of the pain in the early days following the operation.

My mother-in-law aged 63yrs has arthritis. She has a lot of trouble in her knees. We all have been advising her for Knee replacement surgery. How to remove her fear?

Hi there. This is a very common question. I think the key to this is to go to a specialist that your mother in law feels is the right one for the job. Its all about developing a level of confidence in the surgeon, and that can be done only after meeting a few, usually based on recommendations from friends and family.

I have grade II ACL and meniscus tear almost 4 months ago. I cannot fully straighten my leg and cannot bend beyond 90 degree as well. However there is no pain now. Shall I go for ACL reconstruction surgery?

Hi. Based on the information you have given me, I think that you will benefit from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Hi Sir, my wife accidentally touched with left knee in Bed sleeping side. it was disallocate and doctor adjusted the knee allocation correctly. but still sometime she will have problem while folding leg. How I will cure for this in future.

Hi Subodh, a lot depends on how long ago this happened, and whether or not your wife had physiotherapy at that time. Please go back to the doctor, or seek a second opinion.

I am 44 yrs male. I had a severe impact on the left foot couple of years back which caused severe pain in my left knee. It recurs whenever I jog or run. Pls advise on treatment

Hi. I think this requires evaluation and examination by a knee specialist to determine the course of treatment.

Joint pain.Blood test for CRP, ASO,Rh factor and ESR.CRP found +tv, ASO & Rh is -tv and ESR 14mm.Advised for antibiotics Zenflux 400. I continued since last four days,Still my Ciatica vain and other joints paining.Pl suggest Subrat Padhi,

Hi Subrat, I cannot really offer any comment on this without examining you and going through the reports myself. Sorry.

Are there any warning signs of arthritis? Regards.

Hi Meesa, arthritis is a gradually progressing condition, so I suppose you could say that gradually increasing pain in the joints may be a warning sign.

Doctor my cousin’s knee makes cracking and popping noise whenever she sits on the ground. Why?

Hi Meesa, most of the cracking and popping sounds are normal, and may be because of tendons or muscles moving over the bones. If these are associated with pain, then they need to be assessed.

Does arthritis cause numbness?

Hi Meesa, this is a very twsited question 🙂 arthritis of the knees or hips will not cause numbness, but arthritis of the spine (spondylitis) my do it.

Is there a way to avoid arthritis if its in the genes?

Ans: Hi Meesa, sorry, no.

I am 36yrs female. My grandmother & my mother suffer from arthritis. Is it hereditary?

Hi Meesa, these is a small element of genetic transmission in this, but it is by no means the only determinant factor.

Are there any complications related to the hip replacement surgery?

Hi Kaamnha, the main complications related to hip replacement are infection, deep vein thrombosis, fracture and dislocation. The overall risk of these is very low in the hands of an expert.

How much time does one take to recover after a hip replacement surgery?

Hi Kaamnha, my patients usually start walking the day after the surgery, are home in 6 days and are independently mobile within 6 weeks. A lot of this depends on the patient’s own motivation.

What are the facts that are considered about the patient before a hip replacement surgery is prescribed?

Hi Kaamnha, the patient has to want to undergo the surgery, that is the most important thing. Other than that, the patient’s overall medical condition and motivation are vital.

When is a Hip replacement surgery suggested for a person?

Hi Kaamnha, hip replacement is advised in cases where the person has got severe pain in the hip, which is compromising their quality of life, and is not responding to standard measure like pain killers, physiotherapy, activity modification etc.

My mother has developed some serious joint aches from last few months. She is on medication. Any advise?

Hi Kaamnha, I think it is best that your mother seeks a specialist opinion from either an Orthopaedic Surgeon or a Rheumatologist.

How is Obesity linked to osteoarthritis Doctor?

Hi Sureshkumar, obesity is one of the contributory factors in the evolution of osteoarthritis. Ideally, the lesser the weight, the lesser is the stress on the joints. Ideally, the person’s Body Mass Index should be between 18-13.

My elder brother is 43yrs. He is suffering from stiffness in the knees off late. Is it Osteoarthritis?

Hi Sureshkumar, it may be, or it may not. Please ask your brother to see his Orthopaedic Surgeon.

What causes osteoarthritis in men?

Hi Sureshkumar, osteoarthritis is a progressive degenerative condition and so there isn’t a single causative factor, whether it is in men or women. Age, heriditary, weight, previous injury, muscle weakness……..all play a role.

What is the main cause of brittle bone disease?

Hi Sureshkumar, this really depends on the type of “brittle bone disease” you are referring to.

Are brittle bones genetic?

Yes, in certain situations, they may be, but this is a very rare condition.

Does a Knee replacement surgery have any side effects?

Hi Mayanthi, there is a small element of risk associated with knee replacement, and that is, in the hands of an expert, less than 2%. Infection, Deep Vein Thrombosis and mild persistent pain are the 3 most common problems.

How long do artificial joints generally last?

Hi Mayanthi, generally speaking, most joints, which are US FDA approved, will last for a minimum period of 15-20 years, all going well.

She is 62yrs now, would she have to take some care after the knee replacement surgery?

Hi again Mayanthi, all that she would have to do is to do regular physiotherapy in the initial phase where the movements are returning, and then she should avoid running or jumping, and make sure she doesn’t put herself in a situation where she may fall.

Dr. My aunt is going for a knee replacement surgery. Is it painful?

Hi Mayanthi, knee replacement is a bit painful for the first 2-3 weeks, though the pain is usually of a bearable nature and gradually reduces as the patient gets more and more mobile. Your attending doctor will usually have a well developed pain protocol to ensure that your aunt is comfortable. Good luck and best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.

Are calcium supplements a good substitute if one is not having milk everyday?Or are other dairy products more advisable?Thanks

Yes, in the event of not having milk regularly, you may have calcium supplements, or other diary products like cheese etc.

Are vegans more prone to fragile bones?

Hi Juhi, in a short answer – No 🙂

How much calcium intake is advised for women per day?

Hi again Juhi. There is no requirement for calcium supplements in women between the ages of 19-menopause, unless there is a clear medical reason to do so.

Good afternoon Doctor, I am a female aged 26yrs. What are the precautions that I should take to have healthy bones at a later age?

Hi Juhi, good afternoon. Do make sure that you keep yourself active and mobile, keep your weight under control and do some exercise 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Its good to see that people are actually interested in looking after themselves.

I had an incident 10 yrs back. I was riding a bike and to avoid hitting a dog I applied sudden brake and all my weight fell on my left foot / leg. My left knee pained a lot and gradually subsided. Now when I run, my left knee pains a lot. Pls advise.

You may have injured it at the time and it probably wasn’t diagnosed. You will need to get your knee assessed and probably have an MRI scan as well.

Dear Sir..For past two years i have pain on my upperback,starting from the neck to the left hand..and i feel a vibration on my head ..stress & tension increses worrried because this related to stress and anxiety..pls advise a permanent solution

Hello, this sounds like a combined problem with your neck as well as a stress related issue. You should see a spinal specialist for this problem.