Walk Easy, It’s a Joint Made Just for You
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06 December 2010
By Risha Chitlangia
New Delhi, India
New Options Help Patients Avoid Post–Operative Problems, Give Better Results
Till, now doctors were using a standard implant on all the patients and a lot of surgery time was spent in creating space for implant. "Each patient has a different knee structure. In cases of arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc., the bones are often deformed. So we have to extract a few bones to make room for the new implant," said Dr Gurinder Bedi, senior consultant, orthopaedics, Fortis Healthcare.
This new technology is likely to revolutionize the knee replacement procedure, as the implant will be designed as per patient’s original knee structure. "Before taking the patient to the operation theatre, we can conduct a virtual surgery by making a model of the patient’s knee. We can decide on the opening we are going to make to approach the knee and place the new implant. Using computer stimulation, we can also see how the patient will be post surgery," said Dr Ashok Rajgopal, head of knee replacement unit, Medanta.
In this, using MRI and CTscan images, a 3–dimensional model of a patient’s knee is constructed. The doctors can use it to plan the operation procedure. In the implant, which is specially created for the patient, alignment is already taken care of. "No matter how precise the cuts are made, alignment has always been an issue. In this, we are re–creating the patient’s anatomy. The alignment is done by the computer," said Dr Rajgopal.
During the surgery, surgeons need not struggle to make space for the implant. The size of the implant is fixed as per the patient. "Earlier, the implant used to often hang from the sides and used to cause discomfort to the patient while walking. It often used to rub against soft tissue and damage it. But now, patients will have more flexibility and less difficulty in walking. As for doctors, the surgery time has been reduced by almost half," said Dr Bedi.