More than 450,000 total hip replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States, and that number is expected to grow. The vast majority of these procedures are effective and successful, but if you’d prefer to avoid a hip replacement, perhaps you can with careful attention to a few key areas.
The experts at Orthocenter have collectively performed thousands of hip replacements, but we understand the desire to avoid the procedure. In some cases, genetics and circumstances make hip replacement the best option, but in others, developing and maintaining some simple habits can help make a hip replacement unnecessary.
Lose the extra pounds
More than 70% of adult Americans are overweight or obese, meaning it’s more common to have extra pounds than not. One of the most important things you can do for the health of your joints is maintain a healthy weight, because your joints experience six times your weight in force. So 10 extra pounds exert 30 to 60 pounds of pressure on your joints.
With each step you take, that extra pressure takes its toll. Over time, the cartilage, ligaments, and other tissues that support and lubricate your joints can begin to break down.
Of course, if you’re overweight, you probably would love to lose a few pounds. Actually doing so can be much more difficult. If you’re overweight, talk to our staff. We may be able to help you develop a plan that will work for you.
We don’t recommend that you start training for a marathon or join your local basketball league right away, of course. Instead, if you’re experiencing pain and stiffness in your hips, you want to specifically target the muscles that support those joints. You need them to be both strong and flexible.
Just exactly what kinds of exercises you should do depends on several different factors, like your current level of fitness, whether you have pain and what the underlying cause of that pain is, your goals, and several others.
Discuss your situation with our staff. We may recommend specific types of exercise, or refer you to a physical therapist who can help you develop a healthy, safe exercise routine.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of calcium
You know that you need calcium for healthy bones, and your joints are part of your skeletal system. Some foods can boost your calcium levels, including:
- Dark, leafy greens
Sometimes dietary changes aren’t enough, and you need a supplement. The good news is that the foods that can help raise your calcium levels are also foods that are part of an overall healthy diet that can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Be aware of how you feel
It may seem unnecessary to say, but simply paying attention to how your hips feel at different times can help you avoid a replacement. Early diagnosis of a problem can mean early treatment, and that in return may result in a positive outcome long term.
For example, if you have an impingement that is limiting your range of motion, you may be able to have a minimally invasive procedure that gets rid of the impingement and saves your hip later.
Noticing any stiffness, decrease in your range of motion, weakness, or consistent hip pain is reason to book an appointment with one of our specialists. If you have questions about your specific situation, or you’d like to schedule an evaluation, book an appointment at Orthocenter.
We have locations, in Red Bank, Morganville, Marlboro Township, and Holmdel, New Jersey; simply call the location that’s most convenient for you, and we’ll schedule your appointment. You can also send us a message here on our website.