Minimally invasive knee resurfacing surgery opens a new chapter in knee treatment

When pain killers, injections and physiotherapy fail to manage knee pains, orthopaedic surgeons usually recommend total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. However, patients staring at the prospect of undergoing TKR due to osteoarthritis, now have the option to postpone the surgery for a decade.

A relatively new procedure, minimally invasive knee resurfacing surgery (MIKRS), promises better management of failed knees. MIKRS involves inserting a chromium-cobalt implant in between the knee joints after making a 5-7 cm incision.

The implant effectively replaces the worn-out cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the two bones in the knee joint. Due to wear and tear, the cartilage beaks down, causing bones to rub against each other. The rubbing causes severe pain and swelling, making it impossible for patients to walk. At this stage, doctors recommend TKR.

“Instead of TKR, patients now have the option of minimally invasive surgery. We conducted a surgery on a 45-year-old woman Lakshmi Devi, and she has recovered well. This surgery will be a great alternative for TKR,” said Dr. Prabhat Lakkireddi, orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals. He added that TKR involves a lot of bone cutting, use of bone cement, blood loss and a significant post-operative recovery time. However, patients opting for MIKRS need not face the above factors, he said.

“Several international studies have indicated that the implant will last for 10 years. This surgery will cost patients between Rs. 1 and 1.2 lakh, while total knee replacement will cost over Rs. 2 lakh. The patient can be discharged in a day or two,” Dr. Prabhat said.

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