Health Matters: Hip Replacement Surgery

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A degenerative joint disease, called Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of hip replacement in the U.S.

According to the 120,000 hip replacement operations are performed each year.

In today's Health Matters, we take a look at developments being made in the field of total hip replacement surgery.

Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Thornberry says more people are candidates for hip replacement surgery than may think they are.

“Basically when the hip does not function appropriately and it's causing severe pain, that's a patient that needs a total hip replacement,” explains Dr. Thornberry.

While it is natural to want to avoid major surgery, hip replacement can improve your quality of life dramatically.

“I fought having anything done surgically. It made me very sad to not be able to move around and now I couldn't be happier and I can paint in perfect comfort now,” comments patient Judith Bontham.

The benefits of this new surgical approach include: a shorter operating procedure, techniques that are less invasive to the patient, and a reduced recovery period.

“Most patients will remember the incisions were about 10 inches long, we've gradually reduced these down to four inches or so,” Dr. Thornberry explains.

When a major operation like hip replacement becomes this successful it benefits everyone involved.

“The most common comment that patients make is that I wish I'd done this sooner, it's very rewarding for me as a physician,” Dr. Thornberry adds.

Thanks to recent strides in hip replacement surgery, those with severe symptoms need not fear a long and painful recovery.

More than 70 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis or chronic joint symptoms.

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