Disorder of joints caused by loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints – known as osteoarthritis – and subsequent knee pain among elderly is a common health problem. Beyond a certain age, medicines, physiotherapy and other arthroscopic interventions are not useful in such cases. Patients require total knee replacement as a definitive treatment. Studies have proved computer-assisted knee replacement surgeries are more precise, less risky, resulting in improved quality of life and offers the patient a huge advantage of immediate recovery.
For Rajeswarmma, 68 years, who is now able to stand and walk, it is nothing short of a miracle. Diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in both knees, she could barely walk 100 metres at a stretch, until she underwent computer-assisted simultaneous bilateral total knee replacement surgery.
At Rajeswaramma’s age, surgeries are usually risky. After considerable planning and preparation, the simultaneous bilateral total knee replacement surgery was done with the aid of a computer navigation system used intraoperatively.
She has been able to start walking almost in three hours of time after surgery, able to climb stairs the next following day and was discharged on day three.
Because it was a computerised surgery, she was able to recover quickly and resume her routine activities. Computer-assisted surgeries are not only more accurate but also safer. Additional benefits include shorter hospital stays, less blood loss and a reduced risk of post-surgery complications. The patients treated with this technology can get full movement, including sitting cross legged and squatting.
In a computerised surgery, surgeons can cut the bone at accurate angles and balance the soft tissue around the knee. This helps in achieving better knee alignment too. It also quantifies the tension around the ligament to help the surgeon decide how much pressure should be applied during surgery.
This kind of advancement is also encouraging patients to overcome their fear and go under the knife to improve their quality of life.
The shelf life of an implant in a knee replacement procedure depends on how well the implant is aligned with the bone. Computer navigation technique helps immensely in increasing the longevity of implant and reduces revision rates.