Latest updates on hip replacement surgery

Monday, September 2, 2013

Some health experts have long established the notion that repetitive, high-impact physical activities, including running, could raise a person’s risk of developing arthritic knees or hip. Such long-standing view has been attributed to repeated stress that this physically demanding exercise may cause to the weight-bearing joints in the body. On the other hand, a recently published study reveals completely different results, suggesting that running, even at longer distances, may reduce a person’s risk of osteoarthritis and the need for hip replacement surgery.

Study results were reportedly based on data collected for the National Runners Health Study and the National Walkers Health Study, which were launched by Paul Williams, an exercise scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division. The analysis, which centered on the effects of running and walking to a person’s osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk, involved nearly 74,800 runners and more than 14,600 walkers who were followed for an average of seven years. In this period, 2000 runners have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Out of thousands, 250 reportedly underwent hip replacement. As many as 700 walkers, on the other hand, developed osteoarthritis and more than 100 had hip replacement surgery.

The findings, which were featured in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, further showed that participants who ran more than 1.2 miles every day have a 15 percent lower osteoarthritis risk and 35 percent reduced hip replacement risk compared to people with sedentary lifestyle. The risk reportedly remains the same even in those who ran longer distances or runners who participated in multiple marathons a year. Additionally, the study suggests that such decrease in osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk may have been partly due to the link between running and lower body mass index.

Osteoarthritis – a progressive joint disease characterized by pain and swelling at the affected joint -- has reportedly emerged as one of the leading causes of disability among older adults, health experts say. In fact, statistics shows that as many as 20 million people from the United States are enduring the debilitating symptoms of the arthritic condition. While there is no known cure for the disorder, various forms of treatments have been utilized to alleviate osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness, and inflammation among those afflicted.

Individuals with hip osteoarthritis initially receive conservative treatments, such as pain medications or physical therapy, according to medical experts. They may also be advised to engage in physical exercises that promote strength and flexibility. However, in circumstances where non-surgical treatments failed to work, patients may be asked to undergo hip replacement surgery for relief.

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


Post a Comment