The Hindu : Today's Paper / NATIONAL : A new solution for early-stage knee arthritis

by The Hindu ,  The Hindu | 2012-05-12

A new implant offers an effective, less traumatic and cheaper surgical solution for patients with early-stage arthritis in the knee.

T he OrthoGlide implant is a contoured disc-shaped cobalt-chrome device that is planted between the two bones of the knee joint in a procedure called “Unicompartmental interpositional arthroplasty.”

The device is designed to take over the functionality of lost cartilage in early-stage osteoarthritis. The prosthesis helps relieve pressure, restore joint alignment and redistribute load evenly to the outside of the knee. The incision heals in about two weeks and the patient returns much quicker to normal functioning.

“The implant procedure which is especially useful in young patients with early-stage osteoarthritis is significant because this type of disorder is the most common cause of knee disability in India,” said A.K. Venkatachalam, orthopaedic surgeon.

He recently performed the procedure on a 67-year-old patient who is said to be the first one to receive the OrthoGlide implant in the State. This was also the third procedure in India since the Drugs Controller General of India approved the implant device in November last year.

Though advancing in age, this patient was suited for the procedure because osteoarthritis onset was fairly early in his left knee, the surgeon said. The OrthoGlide is available at about Rs.1.25 lakh which is virtually half the cost of a total knee replacement (arthroplasty).

What is equally significant about the OrthoGlide is that it has redefined the work tools of an orthopaedic surgeon. The entire operation is performed through a 3-inch incision, Dr. Venkatachalam said.

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