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Posted at: Feb 27, 2019, 7:53 AM; last updated: Feb 27, 2019, 7:53 AM (IST)

Change in lifestyle resulting in knee arthritis: Doctors

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26

Rapidly changing lifestyle and food habits is making people suffer from arthritis in knee. More than 15-crore Indians suffer from knee problems, out of which 4 crore require total knee replacement (TKR).

Knee arthritis among Indians is 15 times higher than their western counterparts. This happens due to genetic predisposition of Indians towards knee arthritis and a lifestyle which results in overuse of knee joints.

Dr Anupam Mahajan, professor in orthopaedics, at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) said, “The major culprit is lifestyle and not to forget changing food habits of people.”

“High heels and fast food are also one of the reasons behind knee problems. People avoid eating fruits which have anti-oxidents but eat fast food. They are avoiding ghee in their diet but never hesitate on having a pizza or a burger. Arthritis is occurs due to multiple factors and it is not possible to pin point one reason,” said Dr Mahajan.

Dr Vikram Shah, managing director, Shalby Hospitals said, “Tremendous advancements have been made in joint replacements in India in the past 20 years. Yet, the country is witnessing an arthritis epidemic.”

He said, “In 1994, mere 350 knee surgeries were performed in India. At present, the unmet demand in the country would be one-crore knee replacements every year, considering the size of the population and propensity of Indians for knee arthritis.”

Knee arthritis would emerge as the fourth most common cause of physical disability in India in the next one decade, he added.

Dr Shah said, “It will be difficult for the country to tackle this burden due to shortage of healthcare infrastructure and orthopedic specialists.”

Another reason for rapid rise in knee arthritis was that the life expectancy in India has doubled after Independence, thus leading to a huge pool of ageing population suffering from wear-and-tear of knees.

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