Hyderabad: Indigenous knee implants will be given preference by orthopaedic surgeons provided they are able to maintain the same standards as imported ones currently available in the market.
At present, knee implants are imported from United States, Germany, England, Turkey and Brazil where compliance levels by patients have been excellent. With seven lakh knee replacements carried out per annum in the country and with minimum cost of implant and surgery ranging between Rs 3.5 lakhs and Rs 10 lakh a both knees, it is becoming a costly affair for patients. Knee replacement surgeries are carried out in cases of injuries and arthritis among others. The adoption of implants by patients has been encouraging.
Ninety-five per cent of implants used in surgeries are imported. A senior orthopaedic surgeon said, “Imported knee implants have shown good durability. Their adaptation to Indian patients has been excellent. An Indian implant must match these standards set by the manufacturers. Only if they are patient-compliant will doctors prefer it. The biggest worry with an implant is that it must not become a hot bed for bacteria to accumulate and breed. This has to be very carefully evaluated. Otherwise patients will be at risk.”
The bid to make medical devices in India and the higher use of knee implants have prompted the central government to look at this sector so that the cost of implants and surgeries can be brought down.
Dr Mithin Aachi, senior joint replacement surgeon at Apollo Hospitals said, “There are five to six basic sizes available now. The Indian knee morphology is different from European and American as they never sit down or squat like Indians. Therefore their knee implants are flat. That is one of the reasons for the present day situation where a patient can’t sit down or squat. If indigenous implants are to be made, then modifications must be carried out to suit Indian patients.”