<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1:City><st1lace>NEW DELHI</st1lace></st1:City>: Naida Khatoon's right knee was acting up. For the past six months, this 21-year-old resident of Baghpat in western UP was experiencing bouts of excruciating pain, interspersed with numbness of the right leg. Naida's mobility was reduced and her knee started to swell. She was then taken to AIIMS, where the bad news followed. MRI scans and biopsy confirmed she was suffering from advanced cancer of the patella (the bone forming the knee cap which is vital for mobility of the knee joint), an extremely rare condition. Facing lifelong disability, Nadia would normally have had to choose between two harrowing options — walk with the help of a caliper all her life or never be able to bend her knee. But in a landmark surgery, done for the first time in the world, a team of orthopedic surgeons at AIIMS removed her entire kneecap, tendons and part of the shin bone to replace it with corresponding parts donated by a 52-year-old woman doctor who died in January this year. Not only has Naida been fully cured of her cancer, but she can also walk around like any normal person. "This is the first time such a surgery has been attempted and performed successfully. In such cases, doctors scrape away the cancer from the kneecap in order to try and retain the patient's patella. This leads to a recurrence of the cancer. But Naida runs no such risk because she has a brand new patella and patellar tendon,” said Dr Rajesh Malhotra, professor of orthopedics, AIIMS.