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.’