Total knee replacement is generally performed in older patients with osteoarthritis. For the first time in India, a new prosthesis for young patients with osteoarthritis will be introduced. This prosthesis made of a wonder material called Zirconium, a ceramic coated metal ensures longer survival of the prosthesis after implantation. The introduction of this prosthesis will hopefully encourage more number of young and middle aged Indians and Westerners to undergo knee replacement in India.
Advantages of Zirconium
1) The significant advantage of Zirconium knee implants is that it is considerably harder. On testing it lasts 85 times longer in tests that simulate the stresses inside the actual knee. Additional advantages are scratch resistance.
2) When it is wet, ceramic can glide smoothly along plastic, making for smoother motion than with metal-on-plastic. As a result, the Oxinium total knee replacement will not generate the quantity of plastic wear debris that cobalt chrome will, and the implants should last considerably longer. Zirconium is one of the six most biocompatible elements know to man. So, your immune system will more easily tolerate your new implant.
3) Lastly, patients who are allergic to nickel, the metal most often used in the current implants, cannot currently receive total knee replacements. The ceramic implant, however, can be implanted safely in patients with nickel allergies, since it uses a zirconium alloy with no nickel. Implants made of Oxinium have been implanted in larger number of patients in the UK Australia and the US with great success.
Who would benefit most from an Oxinium (zirconium) total knee replacement?
Three types of patient have been identified as the “best” candidates for an Oxinium total knee replacement.
“Younger” patients: Because Oxinium knee implants offer significantly less wear compared to cobalt chrome implants, they are expected to last considerably longer. In the past, orthopedic surgeons have advised patients less than 65 years of age to wait to have knee replacement surgery because the life span of the cobalt chrome knee implants is only 10-15 years. Now, surgeons have a viable option for a younger patient who previously would not be a candidate for a total knee replacement because the Oxinium knee implants should last much longer. Therefore, a patient under the age of 65 who has advanced arthritis of the knee no longer has to suffer for years until he reaches an appropriate age for total knee replacement surgery.
“Active” patients: Patients, who desire to return to an active lifestyle, including sports, dancing, gardening, or other strenuous activities, may also benefit from an Oxinium knee replacement. As a result of their high activity level, this patient population will put more “wear and tear” on their knee replacement, which can cause the implants to wear more quickly. An Oxinium knee is better able to tolerate this high activity level and last longer that the traditional cobalt chrome knee. Metal allergy patients: Because Oxinium is one of the most biocompatible materials known to man, it is the only choice for patients who exhibit metal allergies. Patients who have needed total knee replacement surgery, but could not tolerate the cobalt chrome implants due to their nickel content, can now have the surgery they need to return to an active lifestyle without the fear of an allergic reaction.
The first patient will be a middle aged Housewife with osteoarthritis. Whereas normal knee prostheses cost about 80,000 rupees, this new prosthesis may cost about 1. 25 lakhs, but it is comparable to the best in its category. The higher cost will be offset by the longer survivorship of the implant. A Total knee package is available for Indians and foreigners with normal and long life prostheses at affordable costs.