The Chairman on Total Joint Replacement

Movement defines Mankind!

You experience life to the fullest when you are free to move. Age and Economy should never be a barrier. In many ways, true living happens only when you are mobile.

We have come a long way in this space of enabling mankind reclaim mobility. The work of the joints in the human body are multiple, cyclical and determines the quality of physical activities an individual can perform.

The Joint Replacement surgery is an evolutionary change or solution to give patients a more functional outcome for Joint ailments.

The joints in the body are the predominant reasons for a better quality of life. A joint disease or disorder pushes a patient to give up on the quality of life. Unlike a life-threatening surgery, in a Joint Replacement surgery there is no risk to the life of a patient.

  • The results of a Joint Replacement Surgery are predictably positive.
  • A Joint Replacement Surgery is mainly aimed at giving back patients the life they desire to lead, a life in which they are physically able to perform their desired activities.
  • A joint replacement Surgery bridges the gap between the misery of restricting to just basic activities and the ability to have a completely active life – physically and socially.

Total Joint Replacement – The new era

From the time the implant for the Hip Joint was made until the first successful knee joint replacement, surgeons and experts did not pay much attention to needs of the Asian population where sitting on the floor was a big part of their daily routine.

Joint Replacement Surgery – The Evolution

The implants primarily invented by the Englishmen and Germans was for the western way of living. For a long time the Asian population was forced to find a cure as the implants made for the low friction Arthroplasty.

In many ways, the Asian way of living has forced the orthopaedic world to create better models of implants for the joints and has pushed them to re-define their outlook towards Joints and Joint reconstruction.

Today a person with a well –done Hip Joint can play rugby, do acrobatics and gymnastics. These activities are possible because of the anatomical evolution where the joint was recreated with a big cup and head which was fully locked inside allowing the person to even bring the knee to touch the face!

As for the knees, high flexion implants today enables the patient to sit on the floor, follow their religious practices, perform yoga even do the Surya Namaskar. Some of my patients play tennis, are captains in the navy, seamen, civil contractors.

This functionality is possible with the ceramic-on-ceramic implant. Total Knee replacement has evolved allowing us to give a much better anatomy than the previous ones.

I would recommend a joint replacement surgery for someone who can get back to what they enjoy doing the most. A dancer for example, would be leading a severely compromised life with a joint disease or disorder. The surgery practically gives back to her the life she aspires or would love to live!

We will still continue to evolve in this arena. If bio-medical experts were to re-create the anatomy of the cartilage, they have to look at giving the nature of many elements: Like that of rubberized plastic for elasticity and tenacity; like that of glass for a smooth finish and then fit it with a mechanism that has an in-built sensor to detect and release the right amounts of synovial fluid.

Nature is astounding in its workings and the function and mechanism of the cartilage and the joint has not yet been replicated in any excellence in engineering; not even in the best Rolls Royce.

‘Yet I hope, await and continue to work with bio-medical engineers and technologists on anatomical structures to create the most closest fit to that of a natural joint’.

The pride and ethics I’ve held close to my heart as an Orthopaedic surgeon in all these years of practice can be summed up in the very words of Sir John Charnlee the father of modern Arthroplasty “The Orthopaedic Surgeon’s faculties must be adaptable to a wide compass; the delicacy of a neurosurgeon, required in nerve and tendon surgery; the power and accuracy of a sculptor wielding the osteotome and heavy mallet; the engineering skill of a fitter, in using precision tools in bone grafting and internal fixation; the indefinable art of closed reduction in manipulating a fracture with the touch and craft of a bonesetter; pleasure in perfect dissection under a tourniquet, and satisfaction in the carnage of hindquarter amputation.”

"I would recommend a joint replacement surgery for someone who can get back to what they enjoy doing the most. A dancer for example, would be leading a severely compromised life with a joint disease or disorder. The surgery practically gives back to her the life she aspires or would love to live"

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