Health Care

Computer aids docs to conduct knee-replacement precisely

Achieving 100% precision in terms of knee replacement was always a matter of concern. But thanks all to the technology, with the help of computer, specialists at Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore are now able to get higher precision, correct alignment and lesser blood loss during the procedure. This provides a win-win situation both for the doctors as well as the patients.

In this procedure a tracker is placed in the bone and the instrument is attached to the computer. The infrared signals are sent to the computer which provides precise angle of the knee and the bones. This is displayed on the screen thereby giving the surgeons perfect real-time measurement of the knee area. Before the coming in of this computer-navigated knee-replacement surgery, the measurement of the bone where the knee replacement had to be done was being conducted manually using a rod. As a result the measurement of the bone as well as the replacement used to be inaccurate.

Explaining about the innovative technology, Dr Narayan Hulse, consultant orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon at Fortis Hospital said: “Computer aided surgery helps the surgeon to perform various steps of a joint replacement surgery more accurately. While performing a joint replacement surgery, precise measurements of the various axis and angles are crucial for the optimum functioning and the longevity of the artificial joints. These minute measurements and calculations are not always possible to perform accurately by eye balling alone. It has been shown by various scientific studies that computer aided surgery helps in positioning the artificial joints more accurately. Currently all over the world, even though most of the joint replacements are done satisfactorily without computer aided navigation, in some of the difficult cases computer navigation has distinct advantages.”

It has been about two months with the installation of this new upgraded technology and about 17 knee replacement procedure have already been completed successfully at the hospital using the new technology. Using this new we have treated patients from Canada, Middle East and also several African countries. The technology is a very recent one- its just about five year old. In India, it is just about one year and very few of the hospitals are having this facility as the cost of installation is very high, further asserted Dr Hulse.

With increasing number of ageing population in the country, installation of newer technology like the computer-navigated knee-replacement surgery in every other hospitals is the need of the hour. In the budget 2014-15, a total amount of Rs 37,330 crore has been allocated for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. From this, Government could look at setting up such newer technology especially at government hospitals as this would benefit the most needy people across the country.

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Luna Dewan

Luna Dewan

With six years of her journalism experience, Luna Dewan has worked for leading print media like the New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and DNA. She has been writing on healthcare, environment and various other civic issues. She is now with as the Assistant Editor.

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