Lucknow: KGMU develops customised, cost-effective knee braces
The department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the King George’s Medical University has developed cost-effective knee braces for patients suffering from joint problems due to osteoarthritis.lucknow Updated: Mar 26, 2018 13:54 IST
The department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) has developed cost-effective knee braces for patients suffering from joint problems due to osteoarthritis.
“These braces correct joint deformity too. We developed these on the basis of patient feedback. One brace costs just about Rs1,000, while those being sold in the market are priced at around Rs20,000,” said Arvind K Nigam, in-charge arthrotec and prosthetics at the department.
Explaining how the braces work, he said, “The key benefit of these braces is their three-point pressure mechanism, which gives immediate relief from pain.”
Osteoarthritis can cause knee joints to become weak and bent, giving one’s leg bow-shaped appearance. Injuries can also impact the performance of the knee joint. Experts say when the gap between the femur and the tibia gets disturbed at the joint, it causes pain and discomfort while walking.
A common solution suggested by orthopedic surgeons is knee replacement that can sustain for up to 20 years. However, not all patients can afford the procedure, which costs around Rs2.5 lakh per knee.
On the other hand, knee braces can help patients recover faster from their injuries or function better in their everyday lives despite osteoarthritis.
“The load of the body gets shared at different points in the limb. So, the deformity is corrected, bringing relief to the patient,” said Nigam.
“I am not comparing knee braces with knee replacement surgery. But what I can say is that our knee braces are custom made, cost-effective and bring quick relief to patients. They can also support quality life for years,” he said, adding, “Moreover, if the patient is aged over 80 and a major surgery is considered risky, knee braces are the best solution.”
STORY BEHIND THE INNOVATION
Nigam said he had been working on a knee brace model for some time when one of his acquaintances called on him last week. “He had come to seek consultation regarding his knee pain. I improvised the model I was working on and created a customised knee brace for him in just a day,” he said.
“With the help of this brace, the patient could walk for over 2.5 hours in our department. Before that, he was hardly able to walk for any appreciable length of time,” he added.
Nigam said that looking at his acquaintance’s improved condition, he thought of making customised knee braces for others too. “At present, 45 patients are registered with our department for these braces,” he said, adding that he would now start compiling patient data for research and development purposes.