If you are due to undergo a hip replacement, there are numerous things that can impact its success. A recent study has looked into whether your level of fitness could play a role in how successful a hip replacement will be.
Here, we’ll look at what the study found and whether your fitness level could determine how successful your hip replacement is.
What did the latest study find?
The latest study, published within The Journal of Arthroplasty, aimed to determine the impact of a patient’s level of physical activity on the outcome of a total hip arthroplasty.
It is already known that the procedure provides excellent results in terms of functional improvement and pain relief in all patients. However, would being fitter improve the surgery’s success?
The researchers of the study used data from the institutional registry of patients who were having a total hip arthroplasty from 2007 to 2012. Patients who underwent a thorough assessment after the surgery were identified. Satisfaction scores, rates of complication and revision surgical procedure rates were all compared between patients with a higher and lower fitness level.
Interestingly, more active patients believed they would achieve more favourable outcomes than non-active patients before the surgery. After a 2-year assessment, it was revealed that active and inactive patients had similar levels of satisfaction. They also had comparable outcomes.
The non-active patients also experienced an increase in activity two years after the procedure. This could be down to the fact that their bad hip was preventing them from exercising.
Is it important to keep fit before a hip replacement?
Although the recent study doesn’t show a link between lower fitness levels and a poorer outcome, it is still important to keep fit prior to surgery. The fitter you are, the fewer the risks.
Overweight patients are particularly vulnerable to complications from surgery. As a hip replacement is a major surgery, the body needs to be as fit as possible if you want a speedy recovery.
Of course, keeping fit before a hip replacement isn’t always easy. If you are struggling to stay active due to pain or reduced mobility, gentle exercises such as Pilates are a great option. You could also visit a physiotherapist for help getting in shape for the surgery.
Other factors that could impact hip replacement results
Alongside your fitness levels, there are a few other factors that could impact the results of a total hip arthroplasty. The surgical technique used, and the prosthesis material can both affect the success of the procedure. Non-surgical factors also include age, sex, and BMI.
Hip surgeon Mr Simon Bridle will be able to identify and discuss any risk factors you need to be aware of during your consultation. He can also give you a better idea of how successful the surgery is likely to be. Most patients who undergo a hip replacement experience significant improvements in both pain relief and function.