Orthopedic surgeons In New Delhi have successfully restored mobility to a morbidly obese women using a computer-assisted technology.
Kusum Lata Kataria, 60, was suffering from several health complications associated with morbid obesity, including a complete wear and tear of the knees that made her immobile for the past year.
Suffering from osteoarthritis coupled with obesity, the excessively heavy woman needed a joint replacement surgery to restore a normal life, doctors at the Indian Spinal Injuries Center said.
As conventional surgery poses risks of failure, a knee replacement guided by computer navigation technology was the best option for the woman weighing 115 kg, the surgeons said.
"In obese patients, it is difficult to find the exact bone marker to cut and place implants with accuracy when the surgery is being performed mechanically. Even a little fault in alignment can result in failure of the procedure," said Dr Vivek Mahajan, joint replacement and arthroscopy surgeon, Indian Spinal Injuries Center, New Delhi.
"Computer navigation helps ensure precision in cutting through the bone and placing the implants in absolutely right spots. With images of the joint, there is need for smaller incision and much higher chances of good outcome," Mahajan said.
Less cutting means less blood loss and limited damage to the muscles and ligaments. All these benefits bring early recovery, quicker discharge from the hospital and better knee function, he added.
Osteoarthritis or the age-related wear and tear of joints comes faster in overweight people, since excessive body weight puts more pressure on the knee joints.
This is why more number of obese people tend to require joint replacement procedure as compared to normal weight people. While overweight people tend to suffer breakdown of joint cartilage faster, obesity also poses problems in conducting joint replacement surgery.
However, soon after the surgery, Kataria was able to walk with the help of a walker and within a week she graduated to walking with the help of a stick. She started walking on her own within two weeks of surgery, the Spinal Injuries Center said.