Total knee replacement surgery: Lagos records more success
By: Chioma Umeha
Efforts of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in the total knee replacement surgery exercise witnessed further advancement with the successful surgery of another set of beneficiaries, including; two female petty trader, aged 62 and 52. Announcing this Tuesday, was Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, during the presentation of recent beneficiaries at LASUTH, who said that the goal of total knee replacement surgery exercise which commenced three years ago in Lagos is to reduce the rate of capital flight which is lost to conducting the exercise overseas. Idris also said that the total knee replacement surgery facilities and services are part of his Ministry’s commitment to build local capacity for surgical procedures. According to him, this would also provide training for resident doctors aspiring to become certified specialist as nursing staff and physiotherapists responsible for patients’ nursing and rehabilitation management Idris, pointed out that that there have been 15 successful surgeries since the exercise started over three years ago under the auspices of the Limb Deformity Corrective Surgery Programme.
“We started over three years ago under the auspices of our Limb Deformity Corrective Surgery Programme. Knee replacement surgery exercise was started in realization of the high numbers of patient who applied to the state government for financial assistance to travel abroad (usually India) to have the knee replacement surgery procedure done. As a government we thought it wise to discontinue the trend of taking our resources abroad for surgical exercise that can be done in the country, the Lagos state health boss said.
“We felt by starting this exercise, we would not only discourage patronage of overseas treatment, but we would build local capacity for surgical procedures like this and this would also provide training for resident doctors aspiring to become certified specialist as nursing staff and the physiotherapists who are responsible for patients’ nursing and rehabilitation management; and this is exactly what we have been able to achieve in the over three years the programme has commenced, he added. Noting that the number of successful surgeries is inadequate for training, the Commissioner said that his Ministry has made provision for a fixed number of free total knee and total hip prostheses monthly.
“This way, the surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists get to manage such cases frequently and therefore become more proficient,” he said. He also said that beneficiaries are mainly the indigent in Lagos state. His words;“the less fortunate Lagosians, who would otherwise have been unable to afford this treatment on account of cost, would be the ultimate beneficiaries this exercise. The State Government through this effort would also be saving a lot of the funds that would otherwise have gone to India and other places abroad.” The Commissioner also observed that the most recent knee replacement surgery exercise was carried out on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday 28, during which two total knee replacements were carried out in LASUTH, under sponsorship of the Lagos State Limb Deformity programme. Both patients had severe osteoarthritis of the knees, a condition characterized by worn-out cartilage at the ends of the bones that come together to form a joint. The worn-out cartilage and some of the underling bone is surgically removed and replaced with prostheses during total joint replacement.
This results in the patient being able to walk again without pain and deformity. Commenting, the Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon LASUTH Dr Ladipo Adewale, explained that osteoarthritis of the knees is common in the elderly than osteoarthritis of the hips in our environment, but in the younger people, it is commoner in the hips, particularly amongst sicklers (Hb SS and SC) who suffer from avascular necrosis of the head of the femur. These procedures were carried out in LASUTH using INDUS total knee implants made in India, said Adewale. According to the Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, an Indian surgeon, Prof. Nagare was in attendance to demonstrate the peculiarities of insertion of this particular implant to the LASUTH surgeons and exchange personal experience, while giving a few tips and tricks. Both patients had uneventful post-operative periods and were discharged one week after surgery, he added. Both the 62 year-old petty trader and the 52-year-old petty trader had progressively worsening deformity of the knee (bow leg) and knee instability, Adewale said. Chief Medical Director LASUTH Dr Wale Oke, reiterated the institution’s commitment to build local capacity for surgical and other medical procedures.
This story was published in Daily Newswatch on May 16, 2013.