There is no one ‘right time’ to have hip surgery – it depends on the individual and how the pain is affecting their lives. Professor Ali Ghoz always advises patients to take their time and really think about when it is right for them. If the pain is interfering with a patient’s daily routine then it might be time to do something about it.
Opting for hip surgery is a way to eliminate hip pain and the bespoke treatments carried out by Professor Ali Ghoz enable patients to rediscover an active life.
Traditional hip bearings are comprised of a metal head moving on a polyethylene – or plastic – liner. Studies have shown that these liners take around 30 years to wear out so are ideal for an active life.
Metal on metal bearings have been developed with younger patients in mind. Their strength and durability give them the ability to last even longer so have more chance of lasting a lifetime.
Ceramic bearings have extremely low wear rates and are again ideal for the younger patient. With all these options surgical technique is critical and Professor Ali Ghoz has the skill and expertise to perform a minimally invasive procedure to suit the individual patients’ needs.
When pain becomes too much to bear and is limiting an individual’s ability to maintain the life they want to lead, a total hip replacement is a highly successful option. It is never too late to replace a hip joint and with the improvements in surgical and anaesthetic techniques recovery times are now faster – with less pain – making for an easier recovery.
There are two approaches to total hip replacement surgery and Professor Ali Ghoz is comfortable performing them both using minimally invasive techniques that are individually customised to cater for the needs of each patient.
The minimally invasive direct anterior approach (sometimes referred to as DAA or AMIS) promises quicker recovery due to the fact that it uses intramuscular planes allowing exposure of the hip joint without detaching muscle from the bone.
The more common posterior approach to hip surgery requires splitting muscle and detachment of rotator muscles to perform the procedure from the back. There is therefore a slightly longer recovery time to be expected.
Studies have shown that after 12 months patients are able to function equally well with either approach used. Professor Ali Ghoz favours the anterior approach from a recovery perspective but believes the most important factor is to ensure a safe and full recovery to provide the individual patient’s pain solution.
Preventing thrombosis is the priority after hip replacement surgery and mobilisation and exercise are vital. To aid this, every patient is fitted with a calf compressor that promotes blood flow and prevents clots.
The sooner a patient gets out of bed and walks the less the risk of thrombosis so Professor Ali Ghoz encourages his patients to walk twice a day whilst in the hospital. The more exercise the better but patients are warned not to overdo things.
Although there may be some discomfort the key to a successful recovery after replacement surgery – even the minimally invasive techniques offered by Professor Ali Ghoz – is mobilisation. Physiotherapists will be able to show patients exercises to help recovery and ensure that hip replacement surgery is just the start of a new way of life.