Osteoporosis of the hip, which is characterized by joint inflexibility, pain, and severe leg impairments, affects more than 20 million Americans. This is often due to the degeneration of the articular cartilage brought by old age or the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the hip joints as a result of physical trauma. Its treatment is often directed at reducing pain and enhancing joint functionality which are often achieved when treatment is started at an earlier phase of the disease, medical experts say. As this is a progressive disorder, a surgical replacement of the hip joint may be necessary in the advanced stages of the disease. With the recent reports of negative complications linked to hip replacement devices, how do osteoarthritis sufferers benefit from it?
With a deformed or extensively destructed bone and eroded cartilage, some parts of the affected bone may hypertrophy with the tissues and the muscles surrounding it develop an inflammation. A total hip replacement procedure may be the only solution to minimize all the patient’s symptoms.
With this surgical procedure, the diseased joint is carefully taken out and replaced with an artificial device. These may be made of plastic, ceramic, or metal alloys. With proper precaution, these artificial joints may last up to 20 years of usage without complications. However, not all patients are the same, and some may develop a reaction to the material of the device, especially the metallic ones. Metal sensitivity may be developed over time as metals corrode after prolonged exposure to body fluids.
For this reason, patients are advised to weigh all the other options when it comes to correcting bone damages in osteoarthritis, before deciding on taking such a risky path. Most of the time, a hip replacement is only opted when no other treatment works for the patient. However, for older adults, study shows hip replacement may provide better outcomes than other treatment.
While it may take some time before the elderly surpasses the recovery period, the long-term effects of hip replacements are highly satisfactory. Experts have associated this with their less active lifestyles. However, the elderly is still at a great risk for developing complications such as dislocations and fractures because of the increased possibility of fall incidences. Because revision procedures can be extremely complicated especially for the elderly, strict fall precaution needs to be practiced at all times.
After a hip joint replacement procedure, adjunctive therapies such as weight management, strengthening exercise programs, and lifestyle alterations may also be required to achieve the best results. With adequate patient education, device-related complications may be reduced or prevented.