NEW DELHI: Every year, more than 2.5 lakh patients undergo knee replacement surgeries in India and the number has increased manifold in recent years. Given the advancement in technology available in the country now, people with total knee replacement can start to walk within six hours of the surgery. The associated risks with knee replacement have also been minimised with the newer technologies available in the field.
Dr Aashish Chaudhury, Managing Director, Senior Consultant and Head of Department of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement at the Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital in Dwarka, Delhi, in an exclusive conversation with The Sunday Guardian said that the Speed Knee programme has helped gain confidence among patients wanting to undergo knee replacement in India and have also reduced hospital stay by 1.5 days.
“The Speed Knee program is an advancement of medical science and is designed for people in need of knee replacement surgery. Speed Knee surgery uses futuristic technology that provides end-to-end care for patients suffering from knee problems. This programme is also an advanced tech-enabled surgery using a minimally invasive procedure that may be performed in less than 40 minutes, and our highly experienced team comprising three key departments make patients move on their own within first 2 to 6 hours of the surgery,” Dr Chaudhury told The Sunday Guardian.
Dr Chaudhury claims that his hospital, in the last three years, has done more than 1,500 knee replacement surgeries under the Speed Knee programme and has helped patients walk within six hours of the surgery.
According to data, 93% of the patients undergone knee replacement surgery started to walk within six hours, while 5% within 6 to 12 hours and 2% within 12 to 24 hours.
Asked about the variation, Dr Chaudhury said, “Not every patient presents the same clinical conditions; therefore, the recovery time also depends on their co-morbid conditions and that of other medical conditions they present. But in most cases as the data also suggests, most patients start to walk very soon after the surgery.”
Data also suggests that the greatest number of knee replacement surgeries are seen among females due to the biological structure of Indian females and their lifestyle. The data says, 73% of patients operated were females and the rest males.
Asked how the Speed Knee programme achieved the feat, wherein, earlier, knee replacement surgeries would be considered as one of the most painful surgeries, Dr Chaudhury told this newspaper, “Yes that’s true, earlier a knee replacement surgery was one of the most painful ones, but then we worked on multiple things to ensure that the pain is reduced and patients are not made to feel the uncomfortable pain after the surgery. What we have done to minimise the pain is we are applying ADC blocker to patients post-surgery and what this does is, it blocks pain nerve which is right near the thigh and this is done by using very small doses of ADC blocker given to the patient from time to time to ensure that the patient feels no pain and the journey to recovery is smooth.”
Dr Chaudhury also said that he rarely administers patients with NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or Opioids which were traditionally used to minimise the pain. Knee replacement surgeries are mostly seen among elderly patients between the age of 60 and 71 years and according to Dr Chaudhury, sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles and obesity are the key reasons for an increasing number of people falling prey to orthopaedic problems such as knee pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
“While it is inevitable to suffer from knee problems in old age, it is shocking to see many in their 30s and 40s suffer from such issues,” Dr Chaudhury said. He also added that one of the youngest patients he operated on for knee replacement was just 22 years old.
The cost for knee replacement surgeries has also reduced significantly in the last few years given that the present government has capped the prices of implants that are used. Such a surgery can cost somewhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, depending upon the condition of the patient.