New Delhi: For patients saddled with unsuccessful artificial joint implants, a new technology used in surgery for the first time in AIIMS recently offers a lot of hope.Billed by experts as the next best thing for the bone, trabecular metal technology, introduced in India recently, is an effective alternative for use in surgeries to fix bonedefects.
The use of `structural allografts` or segments of bonefrom a person who donated at the time of his death, is plaguedby the problem of too less donors against too many patients. But, with availability of the metal, a person needinga redo joint replacement does not need to wait for a donor. A well done joint replacement lasts normally for 15 to20 years but it may last for a shorter period of time in ayoung person who overuses the joint, says Dr Rajesh Malhotra,senior professor of Orthopaedics at AIIMS, who conducted thesurgery using the new technology at the institute. However, the cost at Rs 1,40,000 for every componentor segment is quite high at the moment. Add to it the over onelakh cost for a redo process burns a hole in the pocket. "We believe as the use grows and turnover increases,the price starts coming down, this is true for every product,"he says. "A lot of bone is lost when we dismember theartificial joint before recreating it. We take out the oldimplant, try to preserve as much bone as possible, then assesshow much damage the bone has suffered," Malhotra told a news agency. In the demolition phase, a lot of bone is destroyedand this is where the trabecular technology comes in handywhen doctors are trying to make up for the lost bone, he says. "We take out a dead person`s bones and replace them inanother person, but the problem is you have to have a donor,and they are very few in India," Malhotra says.PTI
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