What would your advice be for someone in their forties or fifties who has been advised to have a full hip replacement?
The technology associated with hip replacement has progressed in leaps and bounds and a well performed replacement can easily last over 30 years. If it is done right, it can be one of the most successful operations. However, there are other options available, depending on the severity of the disease and expectation of the patient. Gels and micro fragmented fat injections can often delay the need for surgery but ultimately, a hip replacement will usually give the best result.
Although the risk are slim, what actually are they?
The risks of the operation are specific to the patient and are always discussed with them beforehand. However, the most common risks include dislocation, infection, fracture, muscle and nerve injury.
How routine is total hip replacement?
According to the latest data in the 18th annual report of the UK National Joint Registry, from 2018 to 2020; 250,278 hip replacement procedures were carried out in the UK, which is equal to about 350 hip replacements each day. It is a very common operation.
What are the key signs/symptoms to look out for that suggest you might have a significant problem?
Hip and deep groin pain is one of the most common symptoms for patients suffering with hip arthritis. One of the early signs to look out for us a reduction in the internal rotation of the hip, which mean that patients tend to feel more comfortable when holding their leg in a toe pointing outward position. Another sign of potential hip problems is if you suddenly find it difficult to put on socks or do up shoelaces.
How much movement and mobility can the average patient regain after a hip operation?
With modern implants and biological recovery pathway, it is possible for patients to regain full mobility and range of movement.
What advice would you give to any patient who was considering not having the full hip operation because of a perceived stigma about the operation?
Science and technology have moved on in recent years and the way that we used to perform hip replacements has changed dramatically. Patients would normally stay in hospital for 2 weeks and have restriction of movement for several months after. Now, most of my patients only require an overnight stay in hospital and recover rapidly without restrictions. Within 4 months, many are able to return to playing sports.