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Reports show that knee and hip replacements are wearing out in some cases. Thousands of patients having hip or knee replacements on the NHS may find that their new joints do not last more than a few years. A study of joint replacements in England has found that the latest surgical techniques of hip resurfacing or partial knee replacement have a lower success rate than older, more established methods, which replace the entire joint. Despite success in most cases, one in seventy five patients requires a revision of the joint replacement within three years of the original operation, the study by the Royal College of Surgeons found. The researchers said that newer surgical joints, which are designed to offer greater mobility and quicker recovery times, could be twice as likely to fail than standard ones.
Hip and knee replacements are among the most common operations done on the NHS, with about 160,000 carried out in England and Wales in 2006, mainly on sufferers of osteoarthritis. Many patients need to have second or even third operations because plastic, ceramic or metal prosthetic joints can wear out after 10 to 15 years. But the study, which is published in the journal PLoS Medicine, found that some patients – particularly those who had hip resurfacing and so-called unicondylar knee replacements – needed to have their operations redone much sooner.
At Diets Don’t Work our advice is to really try to go for prevention rather that cure. Good all round nutrition will help, especially a diet rich in oily fish. If you are or have been for some time into any form of impact sports or have a family history of knee/hip problems, then we aso recommend you start to take glocosamine sulphate (wth chondritin) which will help protect your joints.Some say it does nothing, but in the field we have lots of experience with clients (and me!) who it has really helped. Also vital is strength maintenance of your leg muscles, especially the quads and particularly the vastus medialis, the tear drop shaped muscle on the inner part of the top of the thigh. Flexibility work is also vital as it will prevent the leg muscles adapting and shortening which will force the patella (kneecap) down and put pressure on the femoral groove-this is the bit that your kneecap sits in and slides up and down. Also vitally important is staying active! If you stop doing any exercise at all then the condition will very likely get worse. Our personal trainer reccomendations are to use a rowig machine if you don’t feel any discomfort while doing it, and to try some recumbant leg presses in the gym, as well as some leg extensions, especially the outer range just before your leg straightens. I’ll do a more specialist blog on knees very soon!