In the second segment of the Joint Replacement series, Dr. Neelam V. Ramana Reddy focuses on the Partial and Total Knee Replacement surgeries that are available.


Do give us an insight into Partial and Total Knee Replacement

Each knee has three compartments. If one portion of the knee gets damaged, we replace only that particular portion. Or if other parts have minor issues, we work on those parts. This procedure of Partial Knee Replacement is being carried out for the last ten years, but the long term result of it is not as good as Total Knee Replacement. What really happens inPartial Knee Replacement is that the other part (the one not operated on) may also get damaged in a few years. That’s why Total Knee Replacement Surgery is chosen over Partial. 95 per cent of the cases see Total Knee Replacement. That’s also largely because Indians reach out to a doctor in the later stages, when not one part but all the parts have been damaged.


How do you decide when to opt for Partial and when to go for Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

It depends on the age and the stage of the disease. If somebody at the age of 70 comes withKnee Arthritis, I would not opt for a Partial Replacement on him. I would rather go for Total Replacement. If I do a partial surgery, I know that the other part will also get damaged in five to six years, and then the patient will have to undergo Total Replacement.


The main advantage of Partial Replacement is that it feels normal. The patient can sit down after surgery. However, the success rate of Total Replacement is higher.


Are these treatments permanent?

Partial Knee Replacement has a life of close to ten to fifteen years. It doesn’t help all through your life. It will have to be changed depending on your condition, maybe on an average of 15 to 20 years, after the primary surgery. Therefore, we don’t operate on somebody who is 50. They may experience a lot of pain and that may make their daily lives bad. In case somebody at that age is unable to do his/her daily chores, then we operate in spite of the fact that there could be a need for another surgery in the patient’s lifetime. The second surgery is referred to as Revision Knee Replacement.


Tell us about revision replacement

It is the second-time surgery. Everybody who undergoes Primary Replacement does not necessarily have to go for a Revision Surgery. Some surgeries last 20 to 25 years.


Do these surgeries have any side effects?

Like any other surgical procedure, there are some complexities. Sometimes infection occurs. There could be blood clots immediately after surgery. After many years, there could be loss of implants, which indicates the need for a Revision Knee Replacement. However, compared to any other procedure in medical history, JointReplacement has been the most successful one as it gives the patient a quality life. In present times, people live by themselves and help may not be available. The replacement surgery helps make patients independent.


Patients who could not even walk for 100 meters can now walk for two to three kilometers every day. They can play sports, travel abroad and operate on their own. Knee Replacement Surgery helps them stay independent and not become wheelchair-bound.


For Appointment: Dr. Neelam V. Ramana Reddy, Star Hospitals