The hip replacement…..one of the best and most effective of orthopaedic procedures. A lot of development has gone into hip replacements in the last 5 decades. We just tend to hear the scaremongering via the media about types of hip replacements that have gone wrong.
One must remember that the vast majority of hip replacements are safe, very effective and undoubtedly increase the quality of life of the newly “hipped” person. There are two main types of hip replacements: full hip replacements
and hip resurfacings, the latter is a misnomer and is very similar to a hip replacement except that the hip is not cut off below the head of the hip and a prosthesis fitted, rather the ball of the hip is replaced/covered with a metal/ceramic ball leaving the rest of the head intact, both these operations have metal/ceramic sockets inserted in the pelvis. Now unfortunately after your hip replacement and a few sessions with the physio and some helpful exercises and one or 2 checkups over the next year that is it. Very little advice is given on how to look after these new babies and keep them for hopefully the remainder of your life, why …… I really don’t know, logic seems to have been thrown out of the window in this respect. Also remember the savings to the health service …the longer replacement hips last for
Now there are a few things that can be done to considerably decrease the likelyhood of needing a hip revision. Simple things which are explained below:
How to reduce the likelyhood of needing a hip revision.
1) Use Sorbothane full sole insoles in all your shoes, ideally use 2 in each shoe this will require you to buy shoes a size bigger, if you do then don’t worry they will still fit well once the insoles are in the shoes. Sorbothane is
one of the best shock absorbers in the world far better than the second rate insoles you can buy in most shoe departments.
2) Don’t walk about in your bare feet regularly.
3) Don’t do any high impact exercise such as tennis, badmington, jogging or soccer.
4) Walk a mile 6 days a week.
5) Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles around your hips and pelvis. The core exercises below are very good.
6) Swim breaststroke regularly, when you first start swimming breaststroke your hips may ache considerably, in actual fact it is the hip stabilising muscles and your intrinsic muscles of the hips that are aching not the actual hip joints. These muscles are aching because they are very weak. Breaststroke really strengthens them.
7) Don’t lift heavy weights, let your new wife walk over the threshold when you get married.
8) Don’t do anything that may cause damage to your joints…..it may be fun to go ice skating or try your son’s skateboard after a few drinks at your barbecue but falling directly onto your hip joint may cause a weakness in it and reduce it’s shelf life.
9) Use stairs when you can this helps to strengthen your leg/hip muscles and helps to keep bone density strong.
10) Ladies please have bone density check ups after the age of 50, and if you have taken steroids or other drugs that can effect bone density (ladies and men) also have bone density check ups, as decreased bone density affects the integrity of your hip replacements.