Patient Education

Joint replacement; panacea for knee problems or avoidable? (Dr. Neeraj Gupta)

Orthopaedic surgeon  GMSH 16 Chandigarh

There are over 100 types of Arthritis, the most common forms are Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is much more prevalent than Rheumatoid Arthritis. It can affect multiple joints but most commonly involved are the Knee & Hip. Osteoarthritis of the Knee is much more common. Of late, there has been an exponential increase in the incidence of Hip & Knee joint replacements to treat Osteoarthritis .  But according to recent studies both in US & India, about one third of these joint replacements are unnecessary. This leads to an increased financial burden on the family and already scarce National Health resources. In a recent study published in a very reputed journal, “The Lancet“, it was mentioned that up to 20% of patients of Total Knee Replacement were not satisfied with their surgery. The journal recommended further research & to look for alternatives to total  joint replacement. Also since the joint replacements are increasingly being done at younger age(less than 55 years), there is increased incidence of revision surgeries with their inherent complications. It is the need of the hour to curb this treand. Awareness about weight reduction, regular exercise, lifestyle modification, Yoga & knee braces etc can help in reducing the incidence of joint replacements.  Also newer modalities like Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Therapy hold promise in the treatment of Osteoarthritis in the near future. Hopefully, we will find a cure to Osteoarthritis and usher in a new era of Osteoarthritis free, healthier, fitter & vibrant India.


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