5 steps you can take today to avoid hip replacement surgery
There’s no doubt that every one of us hopes that we can still move our hips like Elvis as we become older. The reality is that with an ageing population and a national passion for high-demand sports and activities, there is a growing number of Australians undergoing hip replacement surgery.
While there are instances when hip replacement surgery might be unavoidable - such as when a fracture, arthritis or trauma to the hip occurs - in many cases the replacement is needed because the cartilage that cushions the hip joint has worn away.
There are a number of steps you can take today to protect your joints from wear and tear so you can avoid a hip replacement in the future.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Carrying around extra weight puts additional pressure on your joints and causes arthritis to progress more quickly. Avoiding a hip replacement is another reason to clean up your lifestyle so you can get back to and maintain a healthy weight.
Wear appropriate footwear to cushion the joint.
If you are running, playing sports or even walking outdoors, make sure you protect your joint from hard surfaces by wearing appropriate footwear. Wearing thin or rigid soled shoes can cause your cartilage to wear away faster.
Avoid activities that hurt.
If you experience any hip pain during your chosen activities or sports, look at modifying what you are doing. For example, if leg squats are causing you discomfort, look at other options, such as lunges, that put less pressure on your hips. If running is causing you discomfort, try swapping the track for laps in your local pool.
Support your hips through your posture.
Good alignment in your torso and legs when you sit and stand will help to reduce unnecessary stress on your hip socket and the surrounding muscles. Choose a supportive office chair that can be adapted to your height, create a safe and ergonomic-friendly work environment and try to avoid sticking out your tailbone when you stand.
If you feel pain, seek help.
The earlier a hip problem is diagnosed, the better. Depending on the extent of your injury, a physiotherapist may be able to help you to rehabilitate your hips and provide guidance on good technique and correct muscle activation to support your hips following recovery.
Seeking a specialist who can properly diagnose your condition can help you to preserve your hip joint as long as possible or identify treatment options that will get you back to doing the things you love.
One of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s top Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr Stuart MacKenzie has created a free guide on hip replacements.
15 Jul 2018
Published by Default Admin