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Osteoarthritis patients who delay surgery at greater risk of spinal issues

Patients of osteoarthritis who delay surgery run the risk of developing spinal problems more than others, warn health experts.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 18, 2016 11:48 IST
Osteoarthritis,Surgery,Knee surgery
Osteoarthritis affects over 15 million Indians each year. (Shutterstock)

According to health experts, delay in knee surgeries during severe osteoarthritis adversely affects the spine. “It is commonly observed that people delay their knee surgery till the last stage without knowing that it is actually deteriorating their spine further. Walking with deformed painful knee joints may damage the spine to irreparable stage,” said L Tomar, orthopedic surgeon at Max Super Specialty Hospital.

According to Tomar, osteoarthritis patients do not opt for high-end medical techniques like knee replacement surgery because of their apprehensions or fear. The delay degenerates the bones further during osteoarthritis and enables a person to move, causing several other types of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Medical surveys have stated that 40-50 per cent of the patients in the rural India do not opt for surgeries even if they suffer from sever osteoarthritis. In the extreme cases, they opt for some temporary medical procedures which curtails their mobility.

Tomar said that with several minimally invasive technologies, the knee replacement has become far more effective as compared to conventional methods.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo Hospital, Dr Yash Gulati shows the setup for a computer assisted knee replacement surgery in New Delhi. (Saumya Khandelwal/ HT Photo )

“In fact, with minimally invasive technologies even old people like those of eighty years or even more could safely undergo knee replacement, that too with assurance of almost absolute normal locomotive recovery,” said Deepak Pradhan, an orthopedician associated with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Pradhan said: “Minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries also reduce blood loss, hospital stay and recovery time. It also increases longevity of the implanted joints and enhances knee movements and brings added safety and accuracy to the entire surgical procedure. It is just the patient who has to understand that the surgery during severe osteoarthritis should not be delayed.”

First Published: Oct 18, 2016 11:48 IST