Shimla: Joint problems counted among the top ailments inflicting the Indian populace is expected to undergo a sea change as new materials and hi-tech surgeries become available at an affordable price, a top joint replacement specialist stated here.
Interacting with the media after making a presentation about the advances having taken place in joint replacement techniques, Manuj Wadhwa, head orthopedics at Fortis Mohali, pointed out that unlike Punjab and Haryana, more cases of hip joint problems were noticed in Himachal Pradesh whereas in the other two states it was knee joint related problems.
Having done more than 10,000 joint replacements surgeries in north India, Wadhwa said that awareness about available interventions for a debilitating disease like arthritis, seeping life of mobility, was one of the reason that people from the hilly state were lagging in taking to joint replacement as a viable alternative to dramatically improve their lives.
Citing the case of Seema Sood, a former BITS Pilani graduate crippled by rheumatoid arthritis who made headlines by making an appeal to the president for mercy killing, Wadhwa said, after undergoing several join replacement surgeries that was funded by the Himachal Pradesh government, she is able to move about and live a better life.
Wide coverage of her case gave hope to many patients, who were otherwise incapacitated and several after undergoing joint replacement surgeries are now leading a normal life.
Fourth generation knee implant is the most advanced design in the world that meets the needs of the population,” he said.
With the crippling disease beginning to inflict younger generations, some as young as 16 years, he said, “replacement implants made from special ceramic material called ‘Oxinium’ could last all normal wear and tear in the body for 30 years.”
Since all good quality implants were currently imported from UK or USA, setting up of a manufacturing unit in India or China would soon bring down costs for the large population in Asia to affordable levels, he added.
From the industry standard hi-tech controlled atmosphere operation theatres where these high precision computer navigation assisted surgeries are currently being preformed, efforts along with Chinese doctors are on to design portable surgical kits that would expand the reach of surgeons to meet the healthcare needs of poor patient in Asia, said Wadhwa.
Photo by Amit