Palmer- New Hips are Hip

March 29, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
Hip replacements are trendy with the senior set. The benefits of the surgery are extraordinary, especially when compared with its relatively low cost and low risk. Ask Robert A. Palmer of Dallas, Texas. He was afraid of complicated surgery, long recovery, and huge debts. Palmer has lived a very different life since undergoing the procedure at Baylor Hospital five months ago. Like many of his contemporaries, he has nothing but good things to say about his experience.

The earliest attempts at hip replacement took place in the late 40s, as in the 1840s. The first modern hip replacement surgery was performed in 1960, and the surgery as we know it today began to be performed in 1970. Only a handful of procedures were done in that year. As life expectancy has increased, so has the number of Americans who suffer illness or injury to the hips. As a result of improved procedures and longer life, after only 40 years hip replacement has become one of the most common surgical procedures in America. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that doctors performed almost two hundred thousand hip replacements in 2009. The vast majority were successful by any measure.

Rapid advances in medical technology promise even better results in the future. For example, the Hana Hip and Knee Arthoplasty Table was recently made available to hospitals where hip replacements are performed. This new table allows a surgeon to open the front of the hip and insert the metal joint while the patient lies on his or her back. This results in a much speedier recovery, because the surgery does not disturb as many muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Metal alloys used to make the replacement joints have also improved. Materials such as tantalum and similar metals make better joints that are lighter, less bulky, more lifelike and more durable than early models. The new alloys provide patients with greater satisfaction than ever before.

All of this success has been good for the doctors, patients, and hospitals involved. They find that they are more confident of the outcomes, and, being more confident, they are more willing to participate. There has been another unexpected benefit from the improved technology. Attorneys have found it difficult to win lawsuits against the doctors who do these hip surgeries. This has reduced the number of lawsuits and the costs associated with defending them. As a result, even more patients are able to afford the surgery.

That's good news for those suffering from hip disease. Palmer puts it this way; the disease in his hip had practically immobilized him. The pain was horrendous, but pain was not the only issue. One of his hips was simply no longer functional. Still, he resisted surgery as long as possible. It wasn't until he had no choice that he began to ask about the experience of friends who had already had the surgery. They all reported good results with few complications. This encouragement was what he needed to find the resolve to schedule his own surgery. Palmer calls it one of the best decisions he ever made. He is also passing it forward by sharing his experience with others in need.