Take a look inside your knees

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Have you ever wondered what your aging knees look like inside? At the July 19 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club, Dr. Sukree Khumrak, M.D., from the Orthopedic Center of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya (BHP), gave an up-close look at not only knee x-rays, but also photographs taken during a minimal invasive surgery known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (MIS UKA). Also, Metas (Farid) Pukmahamad, International Marketing Officer with BHP, provided a short presentation on what Thailand’s Compulsory Motor Insurance covers. BHP nurses were also available to give free blood pressure and blood sugar checks.

Dr. Sukree began with his presentation on MIS UKA. In plain English, MIS UKA is a partial knee replacement surgery that replaces only one part (or compartment) of a damaged knee. This can be an option, rather than a full knee replacement, for patients with osteoarthritis in only one part of the knee.

Dr. Sukree Khumrak accepts the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation for his talk about partial knee replacement surgery from MC Roy Albiston.

Your knee is divided into three major compartments: The medial compartment (the inside part of the knee), the lateral compartment (the outside part), and the patellofemoral compartment (the front of the knee between the kneecap and thighbone). In a unicompartmental knee replacement, only the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic. The healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left alone. According to Dr. Sukree, advantages of MIS UKA include rapid recovery time, less blood loss, less disruption of soft tissue, a shorter hospital stay, faster return range of motion and function, and high satisfaction.

MC Roy Albiston welcomes members and guests to the PCEC Sunday meeting at the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant.

In the surgery photos that Dr. Sukree showed, he noted that the incision was only 7 – 10 centimeters (approximately 3.75 – 4 inches) long. After about six months, the scar from the incision was barely visible. Dr. Sukree also showed a video of a 36-year-old man who had had the surgery on his right knee two weeks earlier and on his left knee one month earlier. The man’s walk was completely normal.

In answer to a question about how to avoid having to undergo knee surgery, Dr. Sukree said, “Lose weight.”

Following Dr. Sukree’s presentation, Farid Pukmahamad spoke about Thailand’s Compulsory Motor Insurance. He noted that this particular car insurance is compulsory for vehicle owners in Thailand. You must have at least a Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI or Por Ror Bor) policy. It is a pre-requisite to annual car registration and costs between 500-700 baht per year. You can purchase CMI from the local Department of Land Transport Office (DLT), from car insurance companies and from brokers, including online.

He pointed out that CMI only covers third party liability, which means injury to other drivers and their passengers, based on the limit prescribed by law. It will not pay for damage to your vehicle, loss of use and other expenses. It provides for total compensation of: (a) Sustaining injuries 50,000 baht; (b) Loss of limbs 200,000 baht; and (d) Death 200,000 baht.

If you arrive at a hospital, you are entitled to preliminary damages without regard to who was responsible for the accident in the following amounts: (a) Sustaining injuries 30,000 baht; (b) Loss of limbs 35,000 baht; and (c) Death 35,000 baht. Additionally, it will pay 200 baht per day compensation for each night hospital stay up to 20 days.

PCEC Member Ren Lexander interviews Dr. Sukree Khumrak after his presentation. To see the video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKWE_ueFKZk

Once the police have determined the driver who is at fault, that driver is only entitled to preliminary damage amounts and the driver who is not at fault gets the rest of the compensation. Farid explained what documents would be needed by the hospital to show that the CMI will cover the medical costs up to its limits. He displayed the following email addresses to contact if you have any questions about what CMI covers: E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

After the BHP presentations MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Tony Heron to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.