Hip replacement surgery can often seem daunting, but the benefits of increased mobility, and absence of pain and discomfort, usually outweighs any concerns for those suffering from hip arthritis. Now, another benefit can be added to the list; according to a new article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, patients that underwent a total hip replacement experienced a ‘significantly lower number of falls post-op than those who did not have the surgery’.
Total hip replacement and fall risk
Researchers used a New York database of nearly 500,000 arthritis patients. These patients had either had total hip or total knee replacements, and their fall rates were compared to those who didn’t have surgery.
Cases were tracked for up to two years after the procedure and then compared to arthritis sufferers that had not undergone surgery. It was found that those who had a total joint replacement were far less likely to fall.
Lead author of the study and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ran Schwarzkopf explains why joint deterioration can increase the risk of falling: “As the wear and tear increases, patients lose their range of motion. They cannot turn their toes as easily, flex their hips or lift their legs high enough to avoid obstacles due to physical limitations as well as pain, resulting in falls and fragility fractures.”
The increase in range in motion and agility is a factor. Mentally, patients who have undergone a hip or knee replacement also experience less fear of falling and this, in turn, leads to more confidence in their everyday movements.
Hip replacement benefits
The secondary benefits of hip replacement and increased mobility are well documented. Previous studies have found that patients who underwent a total hip replacement had a reduced risk of heart failure, diabetes and depression. In 2018, a Swedish study found that hip replacement surgery not only improved quality of life, but also increased life expectancy, compared to the general population.
For more information on joint arthritis and the treatment options, both surgical and non-invasive, call us on 0808 163 1268 to arrange a consultation with Mr Shah Punwar.