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Hip and Knee Replacements Becoming More Patient-friendly

Minimally invasive techniques for total knee replacement are becoming the order of the day, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Raymond Eric Randle from the John Flynn Hospital, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Australia said at Bangalore Friday.

He was talking to the medical fraternity while demonstrating RP-F technology (high flexion rotating platform system) along with Dr. Sanjay Pai, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals.

The demonstration and a workshop on the technology marked the opening of the Workhardts Centre for Joint Replacement.

The two doctors explained the multiple benefits this innovative technology offers to patients.

Detailing the new treatment modalities, Dr. Randle said, "Globally the technology around joint replacements is moving towards a combination of new techniques, more patient friendly joints and higher patient care. Surgeons are refining techniques or developing new ones to try to improve the outcomes. Joint Replacement Surgeries that engage minimally invasive techniques have reduced post-operative pain and morbidity to the patient. Rehabilitation is also faster.

Wockhardt's Centre for Joint Replacement offers to patients a comprehensive care model with low complication rates and less hospitalization time. The primary focus of this centre is to offer to patients new generation joints through minimal access surgery - a technique that offers numerous patient benefits. The centre has dedicated pain-relief therapists who work with all joint-replacement patients as a part of post -operative recovery.

The centre also claims that infection rate will be minimal there and that surgeons would wear specially designed suits (resembling space-suits) while operating.

"Joint replacement basically means replacing painful, arthritic, worn or diseased parts of the joint with artificial metal and plastic surfaces so as to allow joint movement. Traditionally, this is d one by way of a large incision in the joint. Minimally invasive surgeries on the other hand, result in a smaller scar and have the further benefits of less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, shorter recovery time and better motion." explains Dr. Sanjay Pai.

"Minimally invasive approach is a different way of performing the surgery. For example, for a knee joint, the incision is only 4 inches to 6 inches long. This means that potentially there will be less damage to the tissue around the knee. Using the current techniques, 90 percent to 95 percent of knee joint replacements should last 15 years or longer." Dr. Randle adds.

"Sophisticated technology including computer navigation and imaging, coupled with robotically assisted technology for advanced joint replacement surgery and hip resurfacing enable us to provide high end care to our patients. We have initiated several focused programs that would benefit patients suffering from joint problems, such as conscientiously working towards bringing infection rates down. We will also be starting 'specialty clinics' for each joint in about two months. This will allow patients to have single window access to multiple disciplines pertaining to his or her problem, Dr. Sanjay Pai said.

"What joint replacement means for patients is a significant improvement in the quality of life. Simple pleasures like walking, standing and participating in favorite hobbies become difficult if not impossible. When pain and discomfort cannot be alleviated by diet, exercise or medications, it may be time to consider joint replacement, says Dr. Lloyd Nazareth, Head, Wockhardt Hospitals, Bangalore.

In December last year a UK team of doctors performed a live hip and knee surgery at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.

The Joint Replacement Unit of Apollo Hospitals had developed a team of specialised surgical consultants, anaesthetists, physiotherapists and counsellors, who will cater to t he various needs of patients undergoing joint replacement surgery, it was stated then.


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