Cutler Bay resident Abdul Moussadda was a normal, happy college student pursuing his dream when his life quickly changed and he could barely walk. At age 19 he developed a rare form of autoimmune arthritis.
The condition is debilitating and painful, and seldom afflicts adults his age. The medications that kept his disease in remission took a toll on the joints and cartilage in both hips, and Abdul was soon in so much pain that he could no longer attend classes and even a trip to the bathroom became an ordeal. The problem was totally unexpected.
“I never really had problems with my joints,” Moussadda said. “What occurred was I got sick, really sick, with the flu and two weeks after that occurred all my joints started swelling up. It was really quick. All my joints were swollen up and I had a high fever of 104 degrees, so I ended up going to the hospital, and after they ran some tests they figured out that it was a disease, a type of rheumatoid arthritis that strikes at a young age.”
With his college plans and his future on hold, he became determined to do whatever it took to get his life back. Moussadda went to Dr. Steve Naide of East Coast Orthopaedics in Pompano Beach and decided to undergo surgery to have both hips replaced. Without it he would have ended up bedridden.
The first surgery took place in August of 2013, and the second one was done in February of this year. Both were done with innovative ceramic on ceramic hip joints made by Stryker Corporation, called the Accolade II stem, a special design made to fit more patients and accommodate a variety of surgical approaches.
The difference the surgery made was pronounced and quicker than he expected. “I was walking by myself the day after the surgery, using a walker, but after about a week or so I wasn’t using a walker anymore,” Moussadda said.
“I was walking pretty good.”
He did rehab exercises that they taught him at the hospital after the first surgery, and again after the second operation.
“They told me because I’m younger I recover a lot quicker,” Moussadda said. “It was the same with the first hip. I’m doing well, I’m pretty mobile.”
He was soon able to resume his studies. Moussadda just graduated from Miami Dade College and is starting at the University of Florida in the fall.
“Since high school I always wanted to go to college and was taking the prerequisites and trying to figure it out, but definitely what occurred to me helped me realize you’ve got to go for what you want,” Moussadda said. “It sounds cliché, but life’s too short not to do things that are going to make you happy. So I realized that every day I have is a ‘miracle,’ for lack of a better word.”
He said he still is taking a couple of medications to treat the arthritis and it does get achy once in a while, but he’s feeling good enough to be able to walk, ride his bicycle and even take yoga classes to stay limber. He is happy to be able to resume his normal activities.
“It’s great,” Moussadda said. “You know, you take your body for granted when you’ve been in pretty much good health your whole life. Then when that gets taken from you, you realize what an advantage it is to just be able to do normal things. I’m glad to be able to do them again. I’m basically doing everything I could do before, so I’m extremely grateful for Dr. Naide and modern technology for giving me my life back.”
Dr. Naide, when contacted, said he is glad to have been able to help Abdul.
“The rewarding part of what I do is being able to give people back their quality of life,” Dr. Naide said. “That’s really what it’s all about. Working with Stryker enables me to use materials that have excellent track records, provide longevity and allow my patients to return to their level of function.”
Moussadda’s advice to others — learned from his own experience — is simple. “Be happy you’re alive,” he said.
“Be happy that you’re being in good health, or not, be happy. You have the choice to be happy, and you should always choose it.”