Minimally invasive knee replacements are popular amongst patients. The perceived benefits are less post op pain, less requirement for analgesics, and faster return to normal activity. The surgeon performs through traditional open surgery, downsizing the incision. The instruments used are miniature versions of the standard instrumentation. Through smaller incisions standard and high flex knee replacements can be done.
High flex knee replacements are the latest advance in Knee replacement surgery in India. Indian orthopedic surgeons are now able to provide this operation to patients with a higher functional demand of knee bending. Arabs, South Indians, Japanese customs call for knee bending in activities like sitting cross legged, kneeling, stair climbing, use of Indian toilet and prayer. Hitherto knee replacements only afforded ninety degrees of bend. A new knee prosthesis allows 155 degrees of bending. Even computer assisted navigational surgery cannot achieve this degree of flex if improper implants are chosen.
Many patients who were in dire need of knee replacement for arthritis are now thronging to have their operations done in Chennai. Although TKR is not new to Indians, the procedure did not find many takers earlier, about 12,000 knee per year before for the whole of India. These numbers are poised to grow exponentially, with the advent of newer designs and inflow of patients from abroad.
Orthopedic surgery is affordable in Chennai's hospitals and is world class. Another attraction is Minimally invasive surgery an operation in which incisions are smaller than usual. This reduces blood loss and post operative pain and allows quicker return of function. Again MIS and High flex knee replacements are world class operations available in India at very affordable costs minus the hassles of grappling with insurance companies, Medicare, Government NHS etc.
The author, Dr. A.K. Venkatachalam, is a consultant orthopedic surgeon in Chennai's Knee & Shoulder clinic. He is a pioneer in High flex knee replacements and Unicondylar knee replacements in Tamilnadu and South India.