Friday - - CONTENTS -

A dis­turb­ing trend of knee re­place­ments go­ing on the up in the UAE, and the mir­a­cle food item of the week.

Joint is­sues are the main rea­sons for peo­ple seek­ing to­tal knee re­place­ments treat­ments in the UAE. The age­ing pop­u­la­tion, ris­ing obe­sity, preva­lence of arthri­tis, and life­style dis­eases such as di­a­betes are top fac­tors caus­ing the joints prob­lems in most of the peo­ple in the coun­try. For some, even daily ac­tiv­i­ties like walk­ing or tak­ing a small flight of stairs are te­dious ac­tiv­i­ties, caus­ing ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain in the knee.

Ac­cord­ing to Bur­jeel Hos­pi­tal for Ad­vanced Surgery, Dubai, on an av­er­age, 20-30 pa­tients visit daily for joint re­place­ment, in which ma­jor­ity cases are for to­tal knee re­place­ment. While most peo­ple re­sort to non-steroid anti-in­flam­ma­tory drugs, vi­ta­mins, phys­i­cal ther­apy or cor­ti­cos­teroid in­jec­tions to ease the pain, ex­perts con­sider these do not re­lieve the pain in the long run.

Dr Samih Tara­bichi, con­sul­tant or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon, spe­cialised in Joint Re­place­ment at Bur­jeel Hos­pi­tal for Ad­vanced Surgery, Dubai says, ‘In re­cent times, we see that to­tal knee re­place­ment surg­eries among younger pa­tients are in­creas­ing due to un­healthy life­style choices and obe­sity. Pa­tients be­tween the ages of 60-69 re­main the high­est num­ber of cases. The new tech­nique that we use saves bone and lig­a­ments.’

In 1970s, the av­er­age ar­ti­fi­cial joint lasted for about 10 years but now with im­prove­ments in sur­gi­cal tech­nique and ar­ti­fi­cial joint ma­te­ri­als, 85 per cent of the ar­ti­fi­cial joint im­plants last for 20 years or more, says Dr Tara­bichi.

‘Re­cent im­prove­ments in­clude min­i­mally in­va­sive tech­niques where small in­ci­sions help in en­sur­ing a speedy re­cov­ery and auto-transfusion where the pa­tient’s blood can be used if a transfusion is re­quired. Also for spe­cific cases, com­puter nav­i­ga­tion, 3D printer and (PSI) pa­tient-spe­cific in­stru­ments help in to­tal knee arthro­plasty (TKA) ac­cu­racy in plac­ing the im­plant in ex­cel­lent align­ment, which helps it last longer. Gen­der­based im­plant makes bet­ter align­ment de­pend­ing on whether the pa­tient is male or fe­male.’

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