Dr William Hodge Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A renowned American designer of knee joint replacements is bringing his patented ‘Arabic Knee’ to the UAE, it was revealed at the Arab Health conference in Dubai on Monday.

To offer the patented solution, as well as other procedures, Dr William Andrew Hodge, a knee regenerative and reconstruction specialist, has joined the team of doctors at RAK Hospital as consultant orthopaedic surgeon.

Announcing the development at Arab Health, Dr Hodge said: “Arabs appear to injure knees earlier and more often than people in other parts of the world. In fact, a recreational football player in the UAE is five times more likely to suffer a serious knee injury requiring surgery than one in Europe or the US. Soaring obesity rates and kneeling down to pray several times a day can be some of the contributing factors to this situation.”

Speaking about the Arabic Knee, he said the anatomy of “Oriental knees” of populations spanning South East Asia to the Middle East, is a little different to that of the Europeans. Consequently, his Arabic Knee is also shaped slightly differently and designed to withstand strain over a fuller range of motion and positions, such as while squatting or sitting for extended periods of time.

RAK Hospital also announced the launch of the “revolutionary” stem cell therapy for the treatment of arthritis and other joint related issues. The “ground-breaking” treatment is introduced to exponentially reduce a person’s need for surgery. Instead of having to replace a knee with an artificial implant, stem cell therapy in knee-joints can be used to regrow new and healthy tissues that have been damaged or are degenerating.

Both treatments — the Arabic Knee and stem cell therapy — and other interventions are available at RAK Hospital’s Bone and Joint Centre, which is being led by Dr Hodge.

Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director of RAK Hospital said stem cell therapy would cost around $4,000 to $5,000, much less than joint replacement surgery.

He added: “I am extremely delighted to introduce Dr Hodge at this forum and to bring his specialisation to the doorsteps of people in the UAE. Doctors and scientists view the growth of stem cell treatments very promising and the treatment of knee arthritis is especially very popular in US and we wanted people of the UAE to avail this sitting here at a cost far lesser than they would have paid otherwise. I believe, this is just the beginning and we hope that we will continue to further explore non-surgical options extensively.”