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India Facing Knee Arthritis Epidemic

News Desk, News Nation 360 : One of India’s foremost orthopedic surgeons Dr. Vikram I Shah, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Shalby Hospitals, Ahmedabad, he was speaking at a workshop on osteoarthritis and knee and hip replacements, on occasion of felicitation of over 300 patients from Kolkata who have successfully undergone total knee replacement surgery at Shalby

Hospital, Ahmedabad. Since 2004, Shalby Hospital runs an OPD in Kolkata to conduct post-surgery follow-ups with the patients of total knee replacement. More than 60 patients avail of the facility each month in the city. More than 15 crore Indians suffer from knee problems, out of which about 4 crore patients need total knee replacement (TKR), imposing a huge health burden on the country. The incidence of knee arthritis among Indians is 15 times higher than that in Western nations. This is because of the genetic predisposition of Indians towards knee arthritis, and a lifestyle that results in overuse of the knee joints.

In this regard, a press conference was held in Kolkata. There Dr. Vikram I Shah says, "The country is seeing an arthritis epidemic. The incidence of knee arthritis in the Indian population is believed to be as much as 15 times higher than what is found in Western nations. Knee arthritis is expected to emerge as the fourth most common cause of physical disability in India in the next one decade. It will be difficult for the country to tackle this huge healthcare burden due to shortage of healthcare infrastructure and orthopedic specialists.  A major reason for the rapid rise in knee arthritis is that life expectancy in India has doubled since Independence, leading to a huge pool of ageing population suffering from wear-and-tear of knees. Total

knee replacement is a very successful procedure which is more than half a century old. It has 95% percent success rate, and has changed the quality of patients’ lives dramatically. Many new developments in knee Arthoplasty have been touted in recent years, such as patient-specific instruments, gender-specific knees, minimally invasive surgical techniques and the use of computers to conduct total knee replacements. If patients can choose the right hospital with a skilled surgeon, conventional knee replacement is still the best and most cost-effective option. Pain and stiffness in any joint of body as well as noisy joints (joints making repetitive sound) are early symptoms of arthritis. In later stages, there is difficulty in physical movement of joints and there may also be deformities. For treating early stage knee arthritis, medicines like safe analgesics, intra-articular injections and physiotherapy are used. In advanced stages, the most successful treatment is total knee replacement. To prevent arthritis, one should avoid squatting, sitting cross-legged, the use of Indian toilets, and standing for long periods of time. Static quadriceps exercise, cycling and swimming are the three best exercises for early stage patients of knee arthritis. The food they eat should also be rich in protein, calcium and antioxidants derived from dairy products and seasonal fruits and vegetables."

Pic : Photo Courtesy

Report : Anustup Kundu