Hip replacement surgery not only improves quality of life but it can even increase life expectancy, according to a new study conducted in Sweden.
As orthopaedic surgeons, we frequently urge patients not to suffer in silence but to seek treatment for osteoarthritis sooner.
Now, this new study provides a compelling reason to do so, because not only should you have a better quality of life if you undergo a hip replacement, but you could even have a longer life.
The study – Do Patients Live Longer After THA and is the Relative Survival Diagnosis-specific – was conducted by Peter Cnudde M.D. of the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register, Gothenburg and colleagues. They published their findings in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, a publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons in Sweden.
The researchers studied 132,000 patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty (hip replacement surgery) in Sweden between 1999 and 2012. Their aim was to determine postoperative survival rates.
Survival rates higher than the general population
The average age of patients undergoing hip replacement surgery was 68 years. After 5.6 years, 16.5% of their patients had died. This was a survival rate of 1% better than people of the same age and sex in the general population of Sweden and higher than the researchers anticipated.
By 10 years, survival rates were 2% higher than the matched population.
Twelve years after surgery, there was no difference in survival rates between patients who had had a total hip replacement and the general population.
The higher than expected survival rates were particularly marked in patients who had primary osteoarthritis, a condition associated with age-related wear of the hip joint. Around 91% of hip replacement patients in the study had osteoarthritis.
By contrast, patients with other diagnoses – including inflammatory arthritis, osteonecrosis or secondary arthritis linked to other conditions or risk factors – had a lower survival rate compared to the wider population. Other factors linked to a lower survival rate were accompanying significant medical conditions, being single and having a lower educational status.
Reasons are multifactorial
Surgeons have long recognised that hip replacement surgery has the potential to improve quality of life by increasing mobility, increasing ability to return to previously enjoyed activities and reducing pain.
The Swedish research concludes that the reasons for the higher survival rates in hip replacement patients compared to the general population are probably “multifactorial” and point out that only patients in relatively good health are generally selected to undergo hip replacement surgery, which may have had some influence on the research findings.
“I feel transformed”
Carrothers Orthopaedics carried out my first total hip replacement. The quality of my life has improved immeasurably as a result of these 2 operations and I feel fortunate to have been referred to Carrothers Orthopaedics who, together with his anaesthetist Dr Mahroof, have provided me with an exceptional level of care and service.
The pain and mobility issues that I have suffered from for over 10 years have all but disappeared – I feel transformed!
I believe that my health has been in the best possible hands throughout the entire process from referral through to ongoing review.
I would not hesitate to recommend Carrothers Orthopaedics and his team to anyone considering orthopaedic surgery.
Call for surgery sooner
Nevertheless, the study adds weight to the argument for performing hip replacement surgery as early as possible in patients with end stage osteoarthritis.
This may possibly lead to a need for more revision / repeat surgery in younger patients whose hip replacement implants are likely to wear out before they reach the end of their natural life.
An article by Hannes A. Rudiger, M.D. of Schulthess Clinic Zurich called for further research to ascertain the long-term rates of repeat surgery in younger patients.
Hip Replacement surgery options
Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement is suitable for virtually everyone who requires hip replacement surgery, with the possible exception of patients who are obese or very muscular.
Talk to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, who will discuss your individual circumstances.