With special care and treatment, patients suffering from Knee Osteo-Arthritis (KOA) have been given a chance at an improved life at PGI’s Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Knee Osteo-Arthritis is one of the most common problem associated with the middle-aged and obese population. The symptoms include joint pain that worsens with activity, stiffness of joints and decreasing range of motion.
Dr Meenakshi Sharma, a PhD student of Community Medicine at PGI has examined 120 patients between 45 and 65 years of age, all of whom suffered from mild to moderate knee osteo-arthritis.
According to experts, about 17% of the Indian population suffers from the problem, for which there is no known cure yet.
Till now, patients who could not bear the pain had to opt for an expensive knee-replacement surgery.
However, experts at PGI are now working on a special project to treat such cases with exercise.
The purpose of the three-year study is to examine the impact of non-pharmacological interventions on the quality of life of knee osteo-arthritis patients at PGI.
“Before conducting the study, I interviewed several knee osteo-arthritis patients at PGIMER and found that most of them were not doing the exercise correctly. They were further damaging their knees. Apart from this, there were many non-compliance cases,” said Dr Meenakshi.
The treatment includes 26 sittings where patients are taught physiotherapy, meditation, counselled for reducing weight and told about neuro-muscular exercises.
“We treat only mild to moderate cases of KOA and not severe cases. The main focus is enhancing the quality of life of patients through improvement in joint function,” Dr Meenakshi added.
One of the patients, Bhupinder Singh from Patiala said, “I used to suffer unbearable pain and was on painkillers. I was told knee replacement as the only solution by a private hospital. I then thought of consulting doctors at PGI.”
“They taught me exercises, made a diet plan and counselled me. Today I do not take any painkiller and I am back to my routine,” he went on to say.