Deccan Chronicle

Five things you must consider before you opt for knee replacement

Deccan Chronicle| Arpita Halder

Published on: October 17, 2019 | Updated on: October 17, 2019

Know the factors that impact outcome of knee replacement.

The quality of implant plays a critical role in success of surgery. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

The quality of implant plays a critical role in success of surgery. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

Persistent knee pain while walking, difficulty in climbing stairs, morning stiffness in joints, painkillers becoming part of daily routine… sounds relatable? If yes, then chances are that you or one of your loved one has reached chronic arthritis stage where the cartilage between joints wears out and bones rub against each other causing pain. Every year, osteoarthritis affects over 15 million Indians and approx. 1.5 lakh knee replacements are performed for pain relief and improving patient’s quality of life.

Factors that impact the outcome of knee replacement include the experience of the surgeon, hospital infrastructure and quality of implant being used. Government’s recent move to offers patients the choice of implants in major surgeries such as knee and hip replacement is a testimony that the government acknowledges that the quality of implant plays a critical role in success of the surgery. Since implant cost is no longer part of the surgery package, beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat can now opt high-quality implants under the scheme that can help patient’s combat complications caused by a poor-quality implant.

Professor CS Yadav, Chairman and Senior Consultant, Joint Replacement Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, throws light on the things one must consider before undergoing knee replacement.

Expert check – Knee replacement surgery is a complex procedure and requires specialised training and surgical skill-set. More the surgical experience of a surgeon, lesser are the chances of complications. Therefore, do enquire about your doctor’s experience and skill set.

Healthcare infrastructure – Post-op infection can cause complications. Hence it is important that the hospital has robust OT infrastructure and infection control system. Enquire about the infection rate at the hospital.

Know your new knee – A good quality implant can make a huge difference in helping you lead a pain-free, active life. With the advent of technology, innovations such as a single radius knee, navigation-based replacements, have revolutionized knee surgeries making way for efficient and effective solutions which may last up to 2 decades. While your surgeon can recommend what’s best for you, it is crucial to know what is getting placed in your body. Implant quality can be ensured by checking:

  •  USFDA approval - confirms that the product is evaluated, approved as per most stringent guidelines and is high quality
  •  Clinical legacy – assures that it is a proven high-quality product and is widely used globally due to its long-term success
  • Survivorship – indicates that the product is durable and lasts longer thereby reducing chances of revision surgery

Recovery support – Advancements has enabled patients to walk just hours after the surgery using the walker. Our thigh muscles play a crucial role in recovery as they provide the knee with strength and mobility. Technologies like single radius knees which mimics the natural knee motion support these muscles aiding in quicker recovery and lesser physiotherapy sessions.

Rehabilitation – Post knee surgery, it is mandatory for patients to undergo at least 8 weeks of physiotherapy sessions. Highly advanced technologies today provide a wide range of motion as opposed to earlier times with fewer physical therapies. A single radius knee allows stable and efficient movement while climbing or descending stairs, squatting, playing badminton, amongst others.

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