Orthopedic surgeons to indigenise knee implants

Orthopedic surgeons to indigenise knee implants
Highlights

Knee surgeons of the country attending the Arthroplasty Arthroscopy Summit 2016, hosted by Apollo Hospitals in the city discussed the need for documenting Indian knee sizes and methods for implants.

Knee surgeons of the country attending the Arthroplasty Arthroscopy Summit 2016, hosted by Apollo Hospitals in the city discussed the need for documenting Indian knee sizes and methods for implants. “Most of the knee implants used for surgery are imported and are based on the sizes of American and European patients. These implants are a misfit for Indian patients and don't facilitate their regular activities like squatting for pooja or kneeling for namaaz. The cost of these imported implants are very high, adding to the woes of the Indian patient,” opined the surgeons.

The current think tank consisting of Dr Mithin Aachi, Sr. Ortho & Joint Replacement Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Secunderabad; Dr L Prakash, Director & CEO, Institute for Special Orthopaedics, Chennai; Dr Vijay Sharma, HoD, Ortho & Joint Replacement, Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Jaipur; Dr S Patil, Mumbai; Dr Anandakrishnan, Tirupur and Dr Simon Thomas, Delhi, deliberated on the problems and have embarked on a one year project for size standardisation and identifying methods for producing high quality affordable implants.

Over the next 12 months the team aims to screen more than 1.5 lakh patients in a multicentre trial throughout the country both radiologically and anthropologically to arrive at the ideal Indian size requirements. The data would be fed into a software in collaboration with DRDO and IIT for further research. Dr Mithin Aachi said, “Our study will indicate if knee sizes of North Indians is different from South Indians and such other variations. The currently available imported implants are in 5 to 6 sizes, often they fit on one side and not on the other for our patients.

Through the study we will know the variation in knee sizes and intend to produce 30 to 35 sizes, which could fit for most Indians. “We are confident of coming out with matching quality knee implants at a fraction of the cost of imported ones. There is no commercial intent in this initiative, but purely a social responsibility to reach out to more needy Indians patients. We already have data from 60,000 patients and made an initial prototype,” Dr Aachi added.

High quality affordable implant
Dr Aachi announced that based on the research a new high quality but affordable knee would be developed, which would help the patients suffering from this disease. He expects this knee production to be functional in the next two years. Dr L Prakash added, “We are already in the process of perfecting the prototype based on the teams vast experience and are confident that the standardised knee will be available in a year after the research ends after appropriate certification.” “Currently 95 per cent of our needs are met by imported implants from US, Germany, England, Turkey, Brazil and even China, when they can do, why can't India,” said Dr Prakash.

“Indians have high rate of knee arthritis, almost 6 times of those in UK and 8 times of those in US, while the number of knee replacements done here is not even one per cent of what is done in UK. We are doing seven lakh knee replacements per annum, while seven crore Indians are in need of it. The reason for most enduring the pain is the prohibitive cost of knee replacements; it’s beyond the reach of most Indians. Our knee implant will cost only a fraction of the imported ones,” he said.

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