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Dubai resident Fatima Benazzouz, 75 (right) successfully underwent Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) at Adam Vital Hospital in Dubai. Dr. Allaeldin Elbadawi conducted the surgery. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An aged expatriate suffering from excrucaiting knee pain despite previous surgeries heaved a sigh of releif after doctors at a Dubai hospital conducted a lateral, partial knee replacement.

Dubai resident Fatima Benazzouz, 75, successfully underwent Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) based on an advanced technique known as the Oxford Procedure at Adam Vital Hospital in Dubai and has reported being pain free with complete restoration of movements.

What is Partial Knee Replacement?

Unlike the Total Knee Replacement procedure in which all the knee joint surfaces are removed, a lateral PKR using the Oxford technique is performed to only replace damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint with artificial implants called prosthetics, and the rest of the knee remains unharmed and preserved. While surgeons have performed medial partial knee replacements in Dubai, this is the first time PKR uses a lateral implant.

Recent research indicates that PKR patients post one year of operation were 1.81 times more likely than Total Knee Replacement (TKR) recipients to report that their knee felt normal and 2.69 times more likely to be satisfied with their ability to perform routine day to day activities. In the UAE, several people suffer from knee conditions and surgeries are performed to treat conditions related to the knee. While knee problems are common, most of them are often neglected. Studies indicate that seeking early medical intervention can help the patients maintain their joint health without undergoing surgery.

Benefits of PKR

Partial Knee Replacement is a minimally invasive alternative to the conventional TKR for people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. By preserving all the undamaged parts, the knee joint can bend and function more naturally in a regular movement using its unique mobile-bearing design with low wear rates, potentially giving patients relatively longer life expectancies. Besides having a relatively longer durability, Oxford PKR has several advantages such as smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and minimal post-operative pain. This technique is used in advanced healthcare settings in Germany, the U.S and Europe.

According to Dr. Allaeldin Elbadawi, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Adam Vital Hospital, specialised in knee and ankle joint Replacement, the lateral implant was imported specially from Germany.

“This procedure is most commonly recommended for cases with severe swelling, stiffness, pain and an inability to fully straighten the knee. Other symptoms include difficulty bending the knee or a popping sound in the knee movement. The largest group of eligible patients are below 65 years and have plenty of healthy bone remaining. We are doing more knee replacements, especially on young patients, than we have in the past. The surgery usually takes one to two hours and involves minimal invasion,” he explained.

Who is not eligible for PKR

However, there are contra-indications for this surgery in some cases. Dr Elbadawi said,”PKR surgery is not advisable for everyone. This minimally invasive knee replacement surgery treats only certain knee problems. Patients with inflammatory arthritis and diffuse arthritis throughout the knee are not advised for receiving partial knee surgery. There are other procedures a patient can do aside from TKR, which is Individual Cartilage Lesion Replacement (Episurf) Arthroscopic Surgery.”

Patient speak

Recovering well from the procedure, Benazzouz expressed her gratitude to the doctors. “I was in pain for more than a year and a half, despite knee surgery in the past, I am glad I was referred to this hospital. I was able to stand the next day and have been able to walk well without pain after physiotherapy. I consider myself lucky to be the first patient to undergo such an advanced surgery without having to travel abroad for treatment,” she said