26 Aug 2021

When Knee Replacement is the Last Option

Post by uday patel

Knee Joint Definition & Anatomy

Born with an ambulatory pair, we call legs; their most fragile structures are the knees which act as joints. They need constant care, and neglect can lead you to a lot of misery, whether young or old. At a young age, sportspeople are most susceptible to injuries in the knees, but that is due to stress and accidents in the field. The joints are affected inversely due to many factors, the sedentary lifestyle being one of them.

There can be problems that could be genetic, congenital, or due to a debilitating disease, but most of the pairs last long and without any discomfort to the human. Malnutrition, aging, wrong posture, and accident can lead to problems in the joints. If appendages fail to work, it calls for therapeutics delivered by orthopedic or bone specialists.

Knee Photo

Knee Photo

These problems can be common among older people, accompanied by pain and swelling due to worn-out structures.
With proper diet, correct posture, and care, we can keep our knees going with little harm to them. However, if appropriate care is not taken, it leads to damage and often calls for replacement as there is no other option. Fortunately, rectification is possible using in-house surgery and requires a week or more of a stay.

A knee joint comprises a femur, a long thigh bone, and a tibia encapsulated in a cap or patella. The whole structure is closely knitted by a network of ligaments and tendons, which keep the joint in place and enable movement. In addition, there is cartilage that sits between the two bones and acts as a fulcrum. The soft cartilaginous tissues of the meniscus act as shock absorbers. It is here that things can go wrong, leading to excruciating pain since a vast network of nerves infiltrates these organs. But meniscus replacement is another story, for we are discussing artificial joint replacement in this article.

Another set of cartilage called articular cartilage found on the femur end and top of the tibia act as a cushion-like the meniscus. It is named a hinge joint; the knee assists in movement and weight-bearing. The kneecap also contains these sensitive tissues. When this goes wrong or the joint gets worn out, problems arise. This happens mainly among the old due to osteoarthritis, which usually calls for replacement.

Knee Replacement Surgery or Arthroplasty

The surgery is suggested by the bone specialist or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint treatments and replacement procedures. In general terms, the surgery is called knee replacement, while in medical terms, it is called arthroplasty. This is an invasive procedure performed by an orthopedic surgeon. The process is carried out the world over with an enhanced success rate thanks to technology developments and innovative practices. But it is not without risks, and after-effects can lead to a heart attack, blood clots, infection, nerve damage, and even a stroke. Hence this is the last line of treatment after all options to control pain and swelling have been exhausted.

The procedure involves removing damaged bone tissue, cartilage from the kneecap, thigh, and shinbone and replacing it with an artificial appendage which is the artificial joint nowadays. The duration of surgery is few hours, but post-operative care is quite demanding. Nevertheless, the benefits are significant and may last a lifetime.
Substantial post-operative care is needed after the operation, and the pain and swelling may last for three to four months. The patients have to remain in braces for a substantial period as part of post-operative care. After three to six weeks of care, the person can resume daily activities. But then he should avoid heavy lift and stress. Low impact activities like driving a car, household chores, shopping, swimming, walking, and sports like golf and riding a bike are possible without harming the new joints.

Knee Replacement Surgery in India

The country boasts of several destinations where successful joint replacement surgeries are being carried out. However, successful surgeries and post-operative care for total or partial replacement are appreciable, thanks to quality treatment and standards. Advance surgical means, expert surgeons, and the requisite infrastructure is available in major hospitals and clinics in major towns of India. This has led to increased medical tourism in the country, and patients arrive from APAC, Arab and African Countries. The cost-benefit is also attracting patients from the USA, UK, and EU countries.

The success rate of arthroplasty in India is close to a hundred percent. Although few complications have occurred in the past, the surgeons resolved them timely. The country has a wide array of experienced and dexterous orthopedics and has achieved a high rate of success.

The average cost of arthroplasty in India ranges from 2.5 lakh per operation to 3.5 lakhs. In the top range hospitals and clinics, the cost of surgery may go higher depending upon the diagnostic tests, examinations, facilities, and privileges provided. But those undergoing surgery have some options, some of which are less costly but do not sacrifice quality treatment.

The cost in the US is around 35000 USD. The same operation in India is conducted at the price of 6600 USD or less. This will include related expenses besides the cost of physical examination and diagnostics. In this aspect, the cost in our country comes out to be the lowest among many nations.

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