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Joints - osteoarthritis

Q: My daddy is a government employee. Six months ago he had an operation of the right knee. What the doctor did was that he removed the fluid and the crushed bones which were there inside the knee joint. Now after six months my dad is feeling pain and the swelling is still there in the knee. He cannot walk a large distance other wise the swelling increases. He has had all the check ups and culture tests done and everything is normal but the swelling and pain is still there. Now the doctor is advising us for a knee transplant. What do you advise?

A:By the description it appears that you daddy has the ageing process of the knee called osteoarthritis. As it is part of a slow ageing of the joints - there is no magic tablet that can cure it immediately. However, a programme of weight reduction, strengthening of the quadriceps muscles, some new joint lubricants and some oral medicines can keep the knee going for several years. However, if the cartilage has been completely destroyed then replacing the joint cartilage is a simple operation that is extremely successful. Under these circumstances, I suggest that you take the opinion of a rheumatologist (specialists in joint diseases) who can assess and guide your dad towardsthe correct management programme. Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in Vasant Kunj, Apollo Hospital and AIIMS are the 3 centres where rheumatologists are available and they would be able to help you.

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