Whether to replace full joint or part of it?
Before answering this question, let us see what are the operations available for joint problems.
Partial replacement of the joints (Uni-condylar or Partial Knee Replacement) or in short UKR.
Full replacement of joints (Total Knee Replacement) or in short TKR.
knee joints can be divided in to three parts:
Inside portion (medial compartment)
Outside portion (lateral compartment)
Front part (patello-femoral compartment)
Let us see a simple example. When a lady get a potato with a part of which is perished and not usable, she usually remove that portion only and use the rest of the potato. Similarly, when only a portion of the joint is in trouble due to tear and wear or arthritis, only that portion should be operated and the healthy part is kept as it is. This is the right way or right suggestion of doing the replacement of a joint. This type of operation is called Uni-condylar or Partial Knee Replacement (UKR).
A word of Caution!
More often due to lack of proper knowledge, experience and confidence, people feel that part of the knee is in trouble, it may result in problem for the other part also at a later stage. Hence it is better to replace the total knee in one go, by spending a little more now instead of another operation a year later!
This is not the right recommendation and under such situation one should think again and again. One simple counter question to such a situation is :
Do you recommend "Advance Planning" of surgery for all the joints in the body for the fear of creating problem in the future?
Do you think the heart and kidney also "may" create problem in future and hence we should do the operation in advance?
In short, such a recommendation or advice is simply not true and misguiding.
It is a plain truth that more than 70% of patients undertaking operation have only the inner parts of the joint problem and hence they need partial knee replacement (UKR), which is also not very complicated and risky.
The cartilage in between the ligament and the normal compartment of joint, in most of the cases can be saved. This can result in saving of time for healing the wound, less stitches due to small incision for operation, reduces the period of stay in the hospital and most important - reduces the cost.
This operation can be useful for patients who has high risk for a major operation.
You may find it interesting to note that Uni-condylar or Partial Knee Replacement (UKR) is becoming more popular day by day instead of the age old Total Knee Replacement (TKR).
Cost effectiveness of Computerised Operation
Computer is the priceless invention of Science and Technology.
The role of computer in today's day to day life of human being is worth mentioning. The use of computer has immensely improved the examination, diagnosis and operation procedures in the whole world. Procedures for Computerised operation for joint replacement has also been developed by western countries. However, it is a plain truth that computer itself is a Machine only. Like Mercedes car, though fitted with lots of features and safety measures, needs a good driver to navigate. Otherwise one can imagine the result if the driver is not competent enough to drive the super speciality car!
The result of Joint Replacement surgery done by the use of computer also depends on the competence and ability of the surgeon. Hence it is important that the surgeon performing the operation must have knowledge, experience and ability to perform and computer is only a medium to perform the task and the result also depends on these facts. Therefore, beware of advertisement stressing on computerised operation, but find out about the surgeon performing the operation.