Mangalore, July 15, 2011: Pioneering the first-ever computer navigated joint-replacement surgery in the medical history of Mangalore, a team of senior orthopaedic surgeons successfully performed a total knee-replacement prosthesis on Mrs. Vasanthi Shetty (62), who was suffering from osteoarthritis for the past five years.
The team of surgeons was led by the internationally acclaimed surgeon Dr. Christopher Sagar, who travelled all the way from Switzerland for the surgery, and Dr. Sudarshan Bhandary, the professor and head of the department of arthroscopic and joint replacement specialty at AJ Hospital and Research Centre, Mangalore.
Experts say that osteoarthritis is the number-one disorder among Indians. Knee replacement involves removal of the diseased parts of the patient’s knee joint and replacing it with implants. Thanks to computer assisted knee replacement, also known as computer navigation technique, surgeons can perform this surgery with greater precision and with smaller incisions.
Speaking about the benefits of the knee replacement technique, Dr. Christopher Sagar, who has been personally employing computer navigation technique for the past five years in Switzerland, said that the technique gives excellent results even in case of severe conditions and enhances the life span of the implant. He also said that the computer navigation technique aligns patient’s bones and joint implants with a degree of accuracy not possible with the naked eye.
The computer navigation technique works by capturing the patient’s anatomy and transferring it to a computer screen, providing an unobstructed view of the patient’s knee-joint aided visual mapping, assists decision making, and enhances surgeon flexibility. The cameras receive data through infrared signals from reflectors placed on patient’s body and on specially designed surgical instruments. The computer uses the data to track the exact position of the patient and the instruments on a monitor. The method seeks to combine the precision and accuracy of computer technology with the surgeon’s skill.
Dr. Sudarshan Bhandary calls this development a great boon for patients who opt for knee replacement surgeries, adding that the procedure is hardly painful and heals quickly.
The surgery was telecast live in the in-house auditorium of AJ Hospital and was viewed by 35 doctors from Mangalore and its surrounding areas.
After the surgery, the patient will be put on rehabilitation therapy at home or at a rehabilitation centre depending on what the doctor says to strengthen her muscles and enable her to resume normal life.