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A recent study from the Clinical Rehabilitation Journal has found that patients that had undergone surgery for a total hip replacement did not increase their exercise levels after the operation. The study which focussed on a group of 1,000 people in East Anglia, highlighted that, there was no clear evidence in a change of physical activity post surgery.
The study revealed that most patients wish to reduce pain so they can achieve the same level of fitness before the operation, however, researchers and scientists have been surprised by the results following levels of mobility after surgery and recommend that doctors need to encourage patients to remain active.
In light of the research, medical experts have addressed the report maintaining that although patient’s expectations do need to be managed in cases where they require a total hip operation, the latest techniques are allowing patients more mobility, particularly younger patients.
Professor Alister Hart, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Hip and Knee specialist says “Hip replacement is a well-proven treatment for patients with painful osteoarthritis of the hip, it relieves pain and improves function and any suggestion that this is not true is not sensible. With regard to return to sports, hip replacement usually returns otherwise healthy patients to most sports except long distance running. Of course, hip replacement cannot solve other underlying medical problems. Additionally, some types of hip replacement such as metal on metal, have made pain, function and activity worse but these are no longer used as a result of UK led research in this field”.
Mr Harold Nwaboku, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon says, “Surgery is indicated when symptoms become unacceptable and are not relieved by non-surgical methods. As more degenerative causes of arthritis have become recognised, there has been an increase in the number of surgical treatments and more commonly, surgical treatment has been total hip replacements. However, historically total hip replacement in the young, particularly adult males has raised concerns about outcomes and the increase in repeat operations. There has been a notable trend in performing total hip replacements in patients under age of 65 years”.
Mr Nwaboku continues, “However, hip preservation surgery and hip arthroscopy, key-hole surgery that essentially functions to repair damaged tissue, has stirred a great deal of interest in the management of the younger patients particularly the athletic and the weekend warrior.