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Partial knee replacement comes as a boon

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Dr Akhilesh Yadav Senior Transplant Head Joint Replacement, Center for Knee and Hip, Ghaziabad opens up on how young adults suffering can opt for surgeries to lead a normal life

More number of young adults are experiencing knee pain in the capital, according to statistics. As many as one in three young adults experience knee pain at some time or other commonly caused by the imbalances in the muscles adjoining the knee which have an effect on the knee cap. The most common reason for the rise in pain is attributed to poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. “Increased dependence on junk and frozen food are the prime reason for causing arthritis and debilitating joint pain. The bacteria that thrive on a high-fat junk food triggers inflammation in the body which causes our immune system to attack its own cartilage and cells in joints like the knee, which are subject to a lot of wear and are particularly susceptible. This has lead to an increase in the number of youngsters to opt for knee replacements so that they can maintain active lifestyles rather than wait for their knees to pack up. The latest techniques like partial knee replacement and new alloy implants are proving much better than previous ones, ensuring a long-lasting positive effect on knees. Earlier knee replacement was considered a necessity for the elderly suffering from the persistent keen pain. But today with improved implant technology and technique, the young generation is positive towards opting for surgery at an earlier age.

“The main advantage of the partial knee replacement is that it preserves the ACL which is a crucial ligament for movement and knee stability unlike in the case of total knee replacement where it is sacrificed. As this follows the minimal incision approach, a faster recovery, rehabilitation and quick return to full fledged activities is seen in all patients. Because the ligaments are kept intact, the patient feels the replaced portion of the knee as a natural part itself.”

In most of the cases only the medial or lateral compartment is affected, unlike arthritis where it affects all the three of them. If diagnosed at an early stage, it can be treated with medications, but when the symptoms have crossed the extreme stage, surgery is the only option left. Full knee replacement has been the most common and the conventional method for treating arthritic knee. This is useful and necessary only when all the three compartments are involved, and can prove to be a disadvantage in case of unicompartmental arthritis. This is where unicompartmental knee surgeries are helpful.

Partial knee replacement is a minimally invasive procedure where both the inner and front compartments of the knee joints are resurfaced when the cartilage gets completely worn out. With more number of young patients found suffering from ageing ailments, partial knee replacement becomes a good option. The beauty of the procedure is its adaptability to Indian cultural requirements of squatting and sitting cross-legged.

Unlike other invasive procedures, partial knee replacement can be performed through a small incision over the patient’s knee. It also helps in the preservation of our natural bone and tissue with more ideal patient-specific positioning, thereby giving a natural feel.

“Partial knee replacement is a very successful procedure in young arthritics where the disease is confined to the medial compartment of the knee. Added advantage of the procedure is that the knee can still be converted to a full replacement if for any reason a revision surgery is envisaged. The polyethylene particular insert is mobile and hence allowed to freely float on top of the tibial base which absorbs the sheer stress and protects the bone interface. As it is mobile, the design can be customised conforming to the curve of the femur to spread the weight bearing capacity evenly thereby reducing its wear and stress.”

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