Total knee replacement has become a panacea for patients with longstanding knee pain due to arthritis. With its acceptance increasing day by day, growing expectations of the patients such as increased longevity, natural mechanics, early rehab, and the increasing demand for knee replacement in younger population, have led to the development of newer implants.
The holy grail is to give the patients a pain free and well-functioning knee that mimics the biomechanics of a normal knee and gets them back to an active sporting lifestyle.
While deciding to get a knee replaced, these things should be kept in mind:
Computer navigation and robots allow precision and accuracy with minimal soft tissue damage and also allow to place the implant in the most kinematic alignment.
Bicruciate retaining knee implants are an option in the younger population as they restore normal biomechanics and allow for a greater range of motion.
Oxinium and gold-plated knee implants have shown lower wear rates and can be used in patients allergic to cobalt.
Carbon-fiberreinforced (PEEK) implants are readily accepted by body, wear less (hence improve longevity) and are both CT and MRI compatible.
Fast-track knee replacement aims to mobilise the patients the same day after surgery and get back to their routine at the earliest.
Keeping these factors in mind, patients can get closest to the normal knee and lead a pain free, active and healthy life.
The author of the article, Dr Mrinal Sharma, is a senior consultant and head, Orthopedics, Unit II, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences.
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