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Posted On Jun 01, 2023
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Consultant - Orthopedic Surgeon
Manipal Hospital - Mysore
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The knee joint, the largest joint in the body, requires a balance between stability and mobility to function smoothly. Knee replacement is often misunderstood as surgery to replace the entire knee joint, but it's a procedure that resurfaces the damaged parts of the knee that have been affected by arthritis. In India, the orthopedic surgeon in Mysore is commonly performed on individuals between the ages of 50 to 80, with approximately 35,000 procedures done annually, according to joint registry data.
The knee joint's stability is primarily provided by ligaments such as the ACL and PCL, as well as lateral and collateral ligaments, while its strength is supported by muscles such as the AMR and quadriceps. Arthritis is considered a common cause of knee problems and after the age of 50, people tend to experience knee arthritis due to various factors. There are three types: senile osteoarthritis, rheumatic osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis among which senile osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis. Patients with knee arthritis often experience pain, muscle weakness, reduced function, and deformities.
After age 50, a degenerative process begins in which the cartilage between the bones in the knee joint wears off, causing the bones to rub against each other. Depending on the severity of the degeneration, patients may experience pain, stiffness, and other symptoms associated with knee arthritis. In such cases, knee replacement surgery involves replacing only the degraded surface of the knee joint. This means that only the affected cover, whether it's the anterior or posterior surface, is replaced to restore the knee's smooth functioning.
Patients who experience severe pain and stiffness in the knee joint and have difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or sitting are usually advised to undergo knee replacement surgery. Also, in some cases, patients may experience moderate to severe pain while resting as well, which is an indication for surgery.
Patients who develop deformities such as varus or valgus (knee angulation) are typically in the advanced stages of arthritis and may also require knee replacement surgery. Non-surgical management options such as steroid injections, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy, plant extracts, supplements, and lifestyle modifications are usually recommended in the early stages of arthritis. However, when non-surgical management fails to alleviate symptoms, surgery may be considered as the treatment procedure.
Knee replacement surgery is not age-restricted and is not limited to a specific age group, such as 50 to 70. It depends on the level of pain and disability experienced by the patient. After surgery, patients typically experience a dramatic reduction in pain, allowing for a significant improvement in their daily activities. Patients can perform household tasks and engage in low-impact activities such as swimming, biking, or driving. Their quality of life can be improved unimaginably after this surgery.
Studies have shown that the rate of complications is low, with only 2% of cases resulting in complications such as infection, implant failure, or neurovascular injury. Therefore, knee replacement surgery at the best orthopedic hospital in Mysore is a highly effective procedure with a favourable prognosis for patients.
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