Latest updates on hip replacement surgery

Friday, August 30, 2013

Osteoarthritis, being the most prevalent form of arthritis, has been reportedly recognized as a leading cause of disability among adults, health experts say. In fact, government statistics shows that approximately 40 million people in the United States are enduring the symptoms associated with the debilitating joint condition. Medical journals further describe osteoarthritis as a progressive joint disease related to aging and the breakdown of cartilage at the ends of the bones and joints. Although it has been commonly reported to affect the knees, osteoarthritis may also affect the hip and other areas such as the hands or lower back.


Symptoms associated with hip osteoarthritis have been associated with limited range of motion, decreased flexibility, and poor quality of life among those afflicted by the joint disease, health experts say. Patients with hip osteoarthritis commonly experience persistent pain in the groin, thigh, hip, or buttocks region. As the condition progresses, the pain may also become severe, causing patients to experience more discomfort and lesser flexibility. Other symptoms of hip osteoarthritis may also include swelling or tenderness in the hip joint, a grating or grinding sensation in certain movements, and stiffness at the affected joint, especially after a long period of inactivity.

Risk Factors

As an age-related condition, osteoarthritis has been commonly reported to develop in middle-aged and elderly adults. On the other hand, younger people are not an exception to the joint disorder. People who may have sustained severe injuries from an accident or high-impact physical activities or those who may have been born with bone deformities or defective cartilage also stand at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Although there are no clear scientific indications, osteoarthritis has been found to develop more likely in women than in men, according to medical experts. Obesity or added body weight as well as occupational repetitive stress have also been recognized as risk factors of osteoarthritis.


While there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, medical experts cite that there are various treatments designed to alleviate pain and improve joint function in patients. Alongside lifestyle changes, doctors often recommend non-surgical treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers, and low-impact physical activities that promote strength, maintain mobility, and improve balance and flexibility.

Patients may also be advised to seek the assistance of a chiropractor for joint mobilization treatments and various types of therapies, including ice and heat therapy or electrotherapies. Some individuals, who wish to further delay the possibility of surgery, also often take advantage of complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga.

On the other hand, patients whose symptoms of hip osteoarthritis may have failed to improve despite conventional or non-invasive treatments may be advised by their doctors to consider joint or hip replacement surgery, health experts say. It is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon removes and replaces the damaged joint with a prosthesis. While hip replacement surgery has been reportedly considered as the safest and most reliable procedure in all of medicine, some devices used in the procedure, particularly metal-on-metal implants, have been reported to fail earlier than expected, leaving patients vulnerable to serious health risks.

The author is a health writer and researcher from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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