We’ve all heard it hundreds of times– we should be getting in 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. But it isn’t easy to make that time in our busy lives. Surveys show that 70% of adults don’t exercise regularly, 80% don’t meet recommended guidelines for cardio and strength-training exercise, and only 5% hit that elusive 30 minutes per day mark.
We really should try to be more active. World-wide, physical inactivity ranks fourth on the list of all mortality risks, heightening the likelihood of osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, stroke, and even some cancers. For many of us, this doomsday list is enough to strap on the running shoes and clear out some space in our schedules.
However, for those of us with chronic joint pain or malfunction, starting or keeping up with a fitness regimen isn’t nearly that easy. A bum hip can make it difficult to get up out of bed in the morning and walk to the kitchen, never mind bend over to tie your running shoes and go for a jog. So, if this sounds like what you go through every day, then you may want to look into getting a hip replacement.
Having a joint replacement surgery might sound intimidating, and it’s true that having a hip replacement is no small deal. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), “Hip replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.” What this means for the patient is losing some of his of her bone and having it replaced with surgical grade metals and plastics.
If you know anyone who underwent a hip replacement surgery in decades past, you may be putting off your own due to the pain and extended recovery time they experienced. Rest assured that since hip replacements became commonplace in the ’70s, surgical techniques and implant designs have vastly improved. While the procedure used to incur a significant risk of soft tissue damage and often result in future joint dislocations due to interference with the muscles around the hip, a good orthopaedic surgeon can now perform a total hip replacement with very little interference with the soft tissues, and place an implant with a larger ball joint that is much less prone to dislocation. Many hip replacement patients can therefore now expect a quicker, less painful recovery, and some can even resume normal hip function immediately following the surgery.
The NIAMS states that the goals of hip replacement surgery are to “Relieve pain, Help the hip joint work better, and Improve walking and other movements.” Any of these factors could be the one thing keeping you from being active. So go talk to your orthopaedist– getting that hip replaced could be your first step on the road to a longer life.