There are a number of conditions that can result in a patient having to undergo knee replacement surgery. Perhaps the most common condition is osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis.
If the pain in your knee affects your quality of life, and you can’t be as active as you would like to be, it’s time to take a look into a knee replacement.
Total knee replacement in its current form has been around for over 25 years. In India, popularity has grown over the last 10 years. This is a good operation for pain and correction of deformity in the knee. Results of total knee replacement are excellent with survivorship of almost 95% at 10 years and 85% at 20 years. Like with any profession, the job has to be well done for the knee to survive long and the implant material has to be good too. Most knee implants in India are imported, although of late, one particular Indian brand has been showing promising results.
Most foreign knee implants are broadly similar in design although there are significant subtle differences. Overall functional results are broadly similar no matter what implant is used. More recently, some companies are making many sizes available so that the fit is optimal. These implants tend to be more expensive.
The most common technique of knee replacement is using standard company supplied instruments, which are very accurate. However, to increase accuracy computer guided knee replacement is available but not commonly used, as the functional results have not been found to be any better. Custom made jigs can also be made available for more accurate implantation. This technique has not been very popular as it involves additional cost of an MRI and the lead time is 3 weeks for the jigs to be made in USA and then sent over here.
Mrs. CK, 62 years, Total Knee Replacement
My knee problems started in 2008. At first, I thought it would go away just the way it had come. By 2011, the pain became very intense. One by one, it slowly took away all the things that I loved doing like shopping, spending time with my grandchildren, even walking. My life just came to a standstill. Even climbing a few steps began to feel like a trekking expedition! At every social function I went to, instead of enjoying myself and interacting with other people, I was always looking for a seat. I couldn’t even stand! I felt isolated, different. It was horrible.
I finally decided to see an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement surgery, who happened to be Dr Udai Prakash. After a thorough examination and assessment, he said that I would benefit from both my knees replaced.
My heart sank. I didn’t want surgery. I was a diabetic and had high blood pressure – what if
something went wrong? How long before I recovered? My friends and relatives told me that knee replacement surgery does not work and that the knee does not bend after surgery and it is also very painful. But it turns out that six years of home remedies, ayurvedic massage, etc., were merely delaying the inevitable.
Following an x-ray which clearly showed a very deformed and worn out joint, I ended up having a long conversation with the doctor, who was very patient and answered all my queries in a manner that gave me a lot of comfort and confidence in his ability and the hospital.
So, I decided to get new knees.What a relief! All the credit goes to my doctor and his staff. They made things so easy during the post-rehab program that recovery was quick.
But above all, it is spending time with my grandchildren that I find most satisfying. With them, I feel young. After all, age is just a state of mind!