This arthritis day it is time to focus on the disease that is the most common health problem affecting the population today. Arthritis affects more than one third of our senior citizens i.e. above 60 years of age. The disease which was earlier limited to the elderly is now affecting the younger population as well. Approximately 3% of people in the age group of 30 years are affected by arthritis overtaking diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The increased affordability and the modern life style are resulting in increased incidence of lifestyle diseases such as Arthritis, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and cancers. This is seen more in urban population because of the stress associated with modern lifestyle.
Unlike other diseases, Arthritis is a daily crippling problem which slowly eats away the quality of life and makes one physically dependent on other people affecting their dignity. Although no cure has been found for this ailment, there are several new treatments and developments in the neutraceutical segment that can help in alleviating the pain associated. With the discovery of ‘fortigel collagen peptides’, those affected have some hope of preventing further progression of the disease and improving the health of the remaining cartilage.
With surgeries such as total joint replacements that are giving people a new lease of life, there is a need to create more awareness about it as there is a fear associated with such surgeries. Total Joint Replacement surgery has been generally accepted as the surgery of the century due to its enormous success and the dramatic relief it provided these patients. This is one of the commonest and most thoroughly evaluated therapeutic modalities in the world. Nearly 15 lakh surgeries are performed on an yearly, with more than a lakh performed in India alone. Usually the success rates are extremely high and for most of these patients it is a ‘lifetime’ surgery as the benefits last up to 25 years. There are many advances in this field like minimally invasive surgical approaches such as ‘Subvastus approach’ where the postoperative recovery for patients has become much more comfortable.
These surgeries should only be considered when all other treatment modalities have failed and there is no other option left. There is a tendency to offer these surgeries to patients especially the younger ones. Unfortunately some healthcare professionals and hospitals are overselling these by promising hundred percent results without complications which is not true. Often doctors mislead patients by withholding important details like possible complications the can arise during the surgery. Patients should be careful about misleading advertisements which claim to ‘cure’ arthritis. These are false campaigns that encash on the patients plight hence always follow proven scientific treatments.
The article has been written by Dr K Sudhir Reddy Consultant Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Surgeon, Nova Scotia Surgery