Get a New Knee Even if You're 90! - The New Indian Express

Get a New Knee Even if You're 90!

Published: 02nd August 2014 07:32 AM

Last Updated: 02nd August 2014 09:13 AM

CHENNAI: A new knee at an age when people think you’ve got one foot in the grave? It’s not as far-fetched as one may be led to think, especially if you look at the way the sprightly old Mahadevan is now walking. A couple of years shy of the big nine-oh, Mahadevan, the farmer from Kattumannarkoil, who came seeking help for his bad knee, after years of walking with pain. “A lot of elderly people tend to have worn out knees and limp along, but they never think of getting a surgery done, even if a doctor suggests it,” explains Dr J Jagadeesan, Shoulder and Knee Specialist at Appaswamy Hospitals.

Plenty of studies online talk about how orthopaedic ailments are among the most common issues among people aged above 60. Most of them have to undergo total knee replacement (TKR) as a one-time fix for their problems. “The protocols that we follow for elderly people are slightly different, as they have to undergo a full cardiac exam and other tests to ensure that their bodies can handle the stress of a surgery,” he adds.

After a battery of tests, the aged farmer was wheeled into the OR for a total knee replacement, some time ago, “His knee problem, just like a lot of others, was caused due to osteoarthritis. So doing a TKR was fairly straightforward. We had to do an open surgery and replace the knee fragments with a titanium alloy,” he says.

Another precaution that they had to deploy was the usage of tranexamic acid, a drug that controlled the bleeding during the surgery —the elderly tend to have higher blood loss during surgery. A day later, Mahadevan was made to walk, and he admits that for the first time in a decade, he didn’t wince while doing it.

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