A new study has revealed that a hip replacement could also ease back pain. Experts have been looking into the connection between hip and back pain for many years and this recent study investigated whether patients suffering from back pain could benefit from a hip replacement procedure.
So, does this mean all patients with back pain can expect to find relief from a hip replacement surgery? Below, you’ll discover more about the study and what it means for patients.
What is a hip replacement?
A hip replacement procedure aims to replace a worn-out hip joint with an artificial one. They are most commonly carried out on older patients, although increasingly younger patients require surgery, and the joints are designed to last for approximately 25 years for the majority of patients.
After undergoing a hip replacement, patients report a significant decrease in pain and a great improvement in mobility.
Hip or back pain?
Hip arthritis and back pain often go together, as London hip surgeon Mr Simon Bridle explains. Patients with arthritis hips often have arthritis in their spine. This link is confirmed in the new study, carried out by New York City researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery, which revealed some interesting results. It followed 500 patients who had undergone a hip replacement procedure.
It was discovered that more than 40% of patients had pain in their hips and lower back prior to the operation. However, one year after the procedure, a staggering 82% reported their back pain had gone completely.
The only negative discovered was that patients who have undergone spinal surgery, have an increased risk of complications during a hip replacement. In fact, the risk was found to be five times higher, which should be a consideration for specialists when identifying the best treatment option.
How does a hip replacement ease back pain?
The main reason a hip replacement can ease back pain is that it makes the joint more mobile. Many patients discover their back pain was worsened due to an immobile hip joint. This places strain on the back, causing a lot of discomfort. So, once the hip joint has been replaced and it is more mobile, this automatically removes the extra strain from the back.
Will a hip replacement eliminate all back pain?
The new findings do show the majority of patients experience a reduction in back pain. However, it’s important to be aware that this isn’t always the case. Undergoing a hip replacement isn’t guaranteed to eliminate your back pain.
That being said, a hip replacement is an outstanding procedure which can greatly help patients to live a happier, more mobile life. Even if it doesn’t aid in eliminating back pain, it still helps patients achieve a better quality of life.
If you have been experiencing both hip and back pain, a hip replacement could be an ideal treatment option. However, it is important to book a consultation with a specialist to determine whether or not it’s the best option.