Hip Replacement Surgery Has Come a Long Way

In the 100 plus years, hip replacement has been practiced, the surgery has come a long way. This is due to rigorous testing and research into the prosthetic materials used, as well as, technological developments in diagnostic tools like the arthroscope. This single instrument has come to change industry practice and improve results worldwide. It offers highly-magnified imagery of inside the body, in real-time, so doctors can make their decisions quickly based on detailed evidence.

hip replacement simon coffey

The most common candidates for hip replacement are people with the degenerative form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. There are many other treatments designed to treat and manage osteoarthritis, but in some cases these treatments don’t properly restore the quality of life expected. So, when a limit to the amount of pain relief you get from other medications has been reached, hip replacement is one option that addresses your pain and immobility at its source.

Below is a short list of experiences worth consulting your doctor or specialist over:

    • Persistent pain despite pain relief medication
    • Pain increases with walking, even with a cane or walker
    • Discomfort interferes with your sleep
    • Stiffness and tenderness affects your ability to go up or down stairs
    • Immobility makes it difficult to rise from a seated position

There are also numerous other conditions that can require a range of treatments. Here is a list of other potential treatments for a range of hip conditions:

  • Arthritis in general;

Educational and exercise programs designed to improve general health, flexibility and self-management. Some regimes are more tailored and adapted uniquely to the different forms of the disease.

Assistive Devices: walking frames, canes etc.

Natural and Alternative therapies:  nutritional supplements, acupuncture or acupressure, massage, relaxation techniques and hydrotherapy are examples.

Analgesics for pain relief and include Acetaminophen, Opioids, (narcotics), and an atypical opioid called Tramadol. These pain-killers are commonly prescribed and can be effective for maintenance.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), are the most commonly used drugs to ease inflammation and related pain. NSAIDs include Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and Naproxen sodium.

Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation like Prednisone, Prednisolone and Methyprednisolone, which are potent and quick-acting.

Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid acts as a shock absorber and lubricant in the joint naturally but breaks down in people with osteoarthritis.

Surgery: Arthroscopy, Total Hip Replacement or partial Hip Replacement.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAID’s), such as Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and Naproxen sodium can be taken or for those with a vulnerability to ulcers a COX-2 inhibitor version called celecobix is an alternative.

Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation like Prednisone, Prednisolone and Methyprednisolone, which are potent and quick-acting.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, (DMARD’s), are drugs that work to modify the course of the disease and include Methotrexate, Hydroxycholorquine, Sulfasalazine, Leflunomide, Cyclophosphamide and Azathioprine.

Biologics are a sub-category of DMARD’s which target specific phases in the inflammatory process.

Another sub-category is the JAK inhibitor class which block the Janus Kinase pathways involved in the body’s immune response. Tofacitinib is a JAK inhibitor.

Surgery: Arthroscopy, Total Hip Replacement or partial Hip Replacement.

  • Fracture:

Treatment such as hospital admission, rest, braces, some forms of cast and surgery.

  • Dysplasia:

With developmental dysplasia of the hip a special harness is worn for 6 to 12 weeks to hold the joint in place while the baby’s skeleton matures.

  • Perthes’ disease:

Bed rest, pain-killers and a brace or splint. This is worn for up to 1 and 2 years for regrowth of femoral head. Possible surgery to treat deformities.

  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis:

Surgery to reposition femoral head to fix into place.

  • Irritable hip syndrome:

Bed rest, pain-killers and NSAID’s.

  • Soft tissue pain:

Exercise program, Anti-inflammatory creams and pain-relieving medications for soft tissue pain.

When other treatments prove ineffective, hip replacement is one option with the potential to increase the scope of your active lifestyle and turn things around. It is even possible after recovery that when asked – ‘What are you capable of doing without pain?’ – you’ll be in a position to list a whole lot of activities you wouldn’t dream of doing today.

Hip Replacement is only ever undertaken on the advice of your specialist surgeon.

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