We drop in for a chat with Mr Batra, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Mr Gaurav Batra

Mr. Gaurav Batra is an experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in Hip, Knee and Sports problems. As well as completing his training in Orthopaedic Surgery, he has also completed the exams in Sports & Exercise Medicine.

He performs hip and knee replacements, keyhole surgery of the hip and knee and also surgery for cartilage and ligament damage of the knee. He also sees people to advise on Health and Exercise matters.

How long have you been a Consultant?
I have been a Consultant since 2009.  Since then, I have developed experience to deal with all aspects of hip, knee and sports surgery.

What should I do if I have sustained sporting injury?
A serious injury will often result in going to the hospital immediately.  However, a number of patients I see soldier on after the initial injury, only to find things have not been getting better for several weeks.

If symptoms get worse, or do not settle down after a few weeks when you would normally expect to be getting back to the activities you would like to do, then it may be worthwhile consulting an expert.  This will lead to timely diagnosis and treatment and in some cases prevent further injury at a later stage. 

My knee has started clicking during exercise. What could be the problem?
If this is a new problem, it is possible you may have damaged the joint or meniscus cartilage inside the knee joint. The best way of finding out is by doing an MR scan.

Can running damage my hips and knees?
This is a very common question and not easy to answer for everyone. If you already have arthritis, then running may be difficult or cause pain, so it may be better to do other exercises which avoid impact, such as swimming cycling or even walking. Provided your body weight is healthy, and you don’t have hip or knee pain, running can actually help you keep active in later life if you develop arthritis. If you are worried about running, you should get advice about risks before starting to avoid injury.

What causes arthritis?
The commonest type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. We all get it to a greater or lesser degree. The biggest cause is genetic i.e. you get it from your parents. However, predicting this purely based on whether your mum or dad had it is not straightforward either. The other important factors are being overweight and previous damage to the joint.

Even if you are at risk of developing arthritis, you can reduce your likelihood of developing significant disease by keeping active, improving muscle tone with activities such as yoga and keeping your weight down, within healthy limits.

I’ve heard losing weight can make a difference and put off joint replacement surgery. Is this really true?
If your arthritis is already severe, weight loss may improve symptoms and help avoid surgery in the short term. However if you do eventually need surgery, then it is likely that the weight loss will mean safer treatment.

In patients with mild to moderate arthritis, weight reduction can help relieve symptoms more than one would believe, by unloading the joint and reducing impact from daily activity.

How do you decide if someone needs a hip or knee replacement?
This really depends on how bad your symptoms are and how it is affecting the quality of your life.  Important considerations are how it is affecting your sleep or mobility.  Also, if simple pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are not effective in relieving your pain, then you may be a candidate for a hip or knee replacement. 

How old do you have to be before a hip or knee replacement can be done?
Whilst there is no specific age and some very young people can require hip or knee replacement, most people tend to be over the age of 50.  I advise patients to wait as long as possible, if they can before having a joint replacement. Sometimes a person’s quality of life is so badly affected there are no options available other than to offer joint replacement.

How long do hip or knee replacements last?
With advances in materials and technology, most hip and knee replacements should last in excess of ten years.  In most cases they last much longer than this and in my practice I have seen patients who have had hip and knee replacements working perfectly well, even after fifteen to twenty years.

I have been told that I need surgery, but I am very worried.  Is there anything I need to know?
Nowadays anaesthetic and surgery is extremely safe.  All my patients have a detailed consultation before being considered for surgery.  In addition, we carry out an extensive pre-operative check to highlight any problems, so that we can optimise your care and deliver the safest surgery possible.

Is there anything I can do to avoid a joint replacement?
For some, lifestyle modifications, physiotherapy and weight loss may help. In addition, steroid and hyaluronic acid injections and keyhole surgery may help put off joint replacement.

My employer is asking how long I will be off work after my knee replacement?
Most people will return to work 8 to 12 weeks after surgery. You will need to make sure that you obey instructions and do your rehabilitation exercises to regain range of motion and muscle strength. The more effort you put in after surgery, the better the result.

For more information on Mr Batra please visit his online profile here.

 


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