New knee replacement technology better: Doctors


Pre-Plan technology — a new advancement for knee replacement surgeries — provides a better and accurate alignment for knee implants than conventional methods, leading orthopaedic surgeons said on Friday.

According to the surgeons, including from AIIMS, correct positioning of implants in conventional procedures are more dependent on surgeons’ judgment and experience that often leaves room for human error.

However, under the pre-plan technology, a doctor can decide the required size of knee implant for patients through CT scan. Among other advantages, the pre-planned technology is that it does not cause high blood loss and is minimally invasive, unlike the conventional method.

“While performing the knee replacement surgery, accurate alignment of new knee implant is very critical so that it does not wear faster or puts strain on the joint or on body. In conventional procedure, correct positioning of implants was more dependent on surgeons’ judgment and experience that often leaves a room for human error,” said L. Tomar, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon at Max Hospital.

According to the experts, the technology can be a boon for elderly patients undergoing knee replacement surgeries, as the risk of late recovery and errors during the surgery runs high.

Explaining the procedure, Tomar says that the appropriate alignment is decided with the help of advanced CT scan based on which a patient specific jig (customized jig) is designed to give the most appropriate bone cuts, positioning of the implant coupled with less operative time and minimum blood loss.

Currently, only All India Institute of Medical Sciences among other government hospitals, does knee replacement surgeries through pre-planned technology, as part of an ongoing study.

“Pre-plan technology is a radical innovation and technical breakthrough in Total Knee Replacement, because it not only ensures proper prosthetic alignment but also ensures safer surgery, reduced blood loss, substantially less pain, shorter hospital stay, less trauma, minimum surgery time than traditional knee replacements,” said orthopedic surgeon at AIIMS Vijay D.

Terming it less expensive as the technology is new, Vijay D. says that as alignment is pre-determined in the technology, it helps in eliminating almost 30 per cent of surgical steps and also does not need a big incision.

“This technology is better than earlier as less bone removal and less soft tissue disruption is done, thereby less work has to be done at the time of surgery,” said the AIIMS surgeon, adding that recovery is also faster and painless.