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Leg-up for knee surgery, India’s 1st gold-coated implant at GMC

Mar 03,2024

Panaji: GMC has set a shining example of innovation by becoming the first hospital in the country to use a gold-coated implant for a knee-replacement procedure.

At an orthopaedics conference Global Medial Pivot Knee Summit – held in North Goa, GMC’s achievement in the treatment of arthritis was announced. The replacement procedure was performed on Saturday.

Dr Shivanand Bandekar, GMC dean and the head of the orthopaedics department, along with an orthopaedic surgeon from the US, Dr Neil Sheth, used the gold-coated implant for a 56-year-old female patient. Usually, titanium or cobalt- and chromium-based alloys are used for implants.

“We (GMC) are the first in the country to have the new technology which offers implant longevity and a better quality of life to a patient,” Bandekar told TOI. “The new method is designed specifically to match the natural anatomy of the patient.”

The cost difference between regular and gold-coated implants is not huge.

A new implant will cost less than Rs 1 lakh, maybe Rs 80,000, and it has longer utility,” Bandekar said. The new implants are expected to last for 30 years, the regular implants have a lifespan of 15-20 years. Regular implants, on average, cost Rs 60,000.

The costs rise depending on the quality of the material. Bandekar said since the new implants are being produced by a domestic company under the Make in India initiative, their availability should not be a problem. A gold-coated implant, Bandekar said, reduces friction to a large extent, leading to faster adoption of the foreign object into the body. Also, the procedure for a knee-replacement surgery remains the same whether a regular or a gold-plated implant is used.

“For the latest procedure, however, we used a new method called a window operation, in which an incision smaller than usual is made,” Bandekar said. “But other aspects did not change. Even the time taken for the procedure did not alter.” While a surgery duration will differ from surgeon to surgeon, Bandekar said, he finishes a total kneereplacement process in 35 to 40 minutes.

“If the procedure is required on both knees, more than an hour is required,” he said. At GMC, monthly kneereplacement surgeries range between 30 and 35. The number of those seeking knee replacements could go up if patients stopped waiting until their condition deteriorated. “Unlike in the foreign countries, patients here do not come for treatment early.

A doctor is consulted only when the knee pain is unbearable and walking becomes extremely difficult,” Bandekar said. As for the conference, around 100 orthopaedic surgeons were in attendance.

Source: Healthworld