Hip osteoarthritis is different from knee osteoarthristis. Hip bone does not deteriorate because of the age – it is as a result of loss of blood supply to the bones that causes bone to collapse. This type of hip osteoarthritis is frequently found in Asian people. While accidents are the primary cause, the most common cause of hip deterioration in our country is using drugs, especially herbal drugs and OTC drugs that have steroids as the main ingredient. Lack of knowledge and their regular use of steroids are considered important factors that make hip osteoarthritis progress quicker.
Many people choose to buy the medicines to cure their illness rather than seeing a doctor at the hospital and their reasons for that behavior are various. Some might say that it is easier, faster and cheaper and some might even have silly reasons such as fear of treatment, fear of operation or fear of doctor despite the fact that consulting with a doctor is the right thing to do when we are sick.
Some drugs can lessen the pain. However, that can only delay and postpone the surgery or operation. Finally, all patients with hip osteoarthritis will not be able to bear the pain. Their drugs will not help any longer. They will not be able to walk. The doctors and the surgery will then become their last resort.
What are the concerns of patients when the operation comes?
The questions that most patients ask their doctors when they have to undergo the operations are “Will it hurt?”, “After the operation, can I walk as same as before?”, “How long do I need to stay at the hospital?” etc. Those concerns finally make patients avoid the surgery and turn to medicine.
Professor Dr. Thanainit Chotanaphuti added that “Although hip joint replacement is a complicated operation, nowadays not only are there more alternatives for patients to choose but there are also more expert doctors in this field. In addition, a new operation method has also been developed. Earlier, surgeons had to detach some muscles or tendons from the hip but now with the new technique that is done on the front of the hip, the patient is reduced; patients can recover sooner and leave the hospital only a few days later.”
The surgery on the front of the hip has been used in European countries for almost 30 years and now it is widely used in U.S.A, where previously, most hip replacement surgeries were done from the back of the hip (posterior approach) .For Thailand, this method was introduced but due to the lack of experienced doctors, it was not popular. However, currently the number of doctors with the expertise has been increasing.
If you cannot avoid the need to change your hip joint, consider the factors that will enable the operation to be effective with long lasting results. Knowledge and skills of the doctor is one of those factors. Choose only an experienced doctor who has regularly performed this kind of surgery for a long period of time. That is because during the operation, placing the artificial joint is very crucial and needs a lot of skill which affect how long artificial hip joint will last and how well the patient can walk after the operation. While the quality of the joint is also important, the quality of the hospital should be taken into consideration as well. The hospital must have good medical care systems and good supporting teams both before and after the operation, Professor Dr. Thanainit Chotanaphuuti said.
Professor Colonel Dr.Thananit Chotanaphuuti
Orthoepedic Surgeon and Head of Orthopedic Institute
Phyathai 2 Hospital