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Mar 28, 2014

Nobody is too young for a knee replacement

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dr rajeev k sharma senior orthopedic joint replacement surgeon apollo hospital
So, what exactly leads to a joint replacement surgery? Developmental disorders, injury caused by accidents and the condition of osteoarthritis with unstable pressure on joints could make you one of the million applicants opting for joint replacements in India itself. Though there are many reasons, one of the most common is the condition of arthritis common in middle-aged people.

“Though affecting the elderly mostly, joint replacements are often also necessitated among the young. Sometimes, due to an accident or injury and sometimes due to early onset of arthritis. Recently we conducted a hip replacement surgery on a 17 year old girl who needed it due to birth defect. Sedentary lifestyles put together with very less physical activity are also putting youngsters in danger of acquiring joint related ailments at a younger age,” says Dr. Rajeev K. Sharma, Senior Consultant Orthopedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi throws light on what’s hot in the joint replacements sphere and how it is cashing on a long-term durability.

However, the technology and science of joint replacements has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years.

A couple of decades back the biggest challenge was to have long-lasting replacements and implants a reality for patients. Even if a knee replacement was conducted successfully, chances were the implant would last up to a decade and the patient would need another replacement surgery after that.

Today we have come a long way in actualizing that aim of providing durable joint implants with as long as 30 years of life. This has come as a boon for patients, many of whom would not need another surgery after having one in their lifetime.

Significant advances in the field of orthopedic surgery and in medicine in general have taken place over the last three decades and today a range of difficult situations can be treated successfully. It is well established that these implants are safe even for very older patients. Patients as old as 96 years of age are also treated successfully.

“For hips, we now have cement-less hip implants with delta motion ceramic and for knees we have high mobile bearing implants. In both these cases, the patient can enjoy nearly normal functions, can move around in the markets, sit down and can feel as normal as any other person. Then, these have a longevity advantage too. The impact goes on for a very long time and a patient does not require any second surgery in a short span.

“Yet, there remains a prevalent myth that knee replacements are strictly for the elderly. Some patients in their 50s who are experiencing serious motion problems due to diseased knee joints are hesitant to go for the procedure as they wonder whether they are too young for a knee replacement. Some sportspersons who suffer from injuries may also need knee replacement surgeries at a younger age. But, we advise such patients that joint replacement radically improves quality of life, gives you back your mobility and enables you to return to normal life,” adds Dr Sharma.

At the same time when everything in this bubble looks bright and great, there are some challenges yet to meet ends. Now, that these surgeries last for a good-enough time with no need for re-surgery in between, the biggest challenge is to gift patients a pain-free post surgery time. Wherein a patient not only gets back in motion as normally as possible but also does not feel any amount of pain once the surgery/implant is done.

So, as far as the possibility of joint, specifically knee replacements look promising for Indian patients. At the same time, joint replacement surgeons in India as well as the entire medical industry here today is well equipped to offer the best of treatments to foreign patients with an equally competitive and comfortable approach as they get in Boston or Harvard.

1 comment:

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