Among the chronic rheumatic diseases, hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent and is a leading cause of pain and disability in most countries worldwide. With a prevalence of 22% to 39% in India, Osteoarthritis is considered to be the second most common rheumatologic problem. Osteoarthritis of the knee joint, otherwise a worn-out knee joint is a slow progressive disability with increasing age affecting our population. It affects men and women from their middle age.
How does it happen?
Our natural knee joint undergoes constant wear and tear with our daily activities. This eventually leads to completely worn out knee where all the cartilage, the smooth surface in the pain-free which helps us in pain-free movement during our day to day activities will get completely eroded and the bones hit against each other causing pain while walking. The thigh bone and leg bone gets slowly eroded, ligaments and muscles surrounding the knee joint gets stretched because of this and leads to abnormal shape of the knees and legs and further increasing the pain at every step, agonizing the individual who avoids walking leading to decreased people contact and social isolation. The decreased movement and lack of physical activity can affect the individual psychologically sometimes causing depression and may further worsen medical diseases like diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc.
Developments in science and research have led to the cure of Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knees. The total knee replacement, a joint replacement surgery where an artificial joint made up of some of the strongest metals in the world and a highly resistible plastic.The diseased knee joint which is causing pain and agony is replaced worn-out new artificial joint. Also the abnormal shape of the bones can be corrected during the surgery. Almost all the major insurance companies now accept total knee replacement as a standard operation under their policies.
The effect of this operation is immediate and you can walk pain-free on the day or the next day of the surgery. The artificial knee joint has an average life span of 15 years and sometimes will last for more than 20 years as well.