This is something that needs to be taken away from a new study that shows that getting a total hip replacement does not lead to greater physical activity.
It’s a remarkable finding, given the ubiquitous beliefs we usually have about hip replacement: joint pain is all there is among our seniors and the dust that builds up on their ellipticals. If a new femur cap is given, our feet will no longer fall apart, continue to exercise, and free will fall like empty bottles of soaking salts.
Instead, it turns out that when it comes to getting a new ball and plug into the space behind the front pocket, increasing exercise is the exception, not the rule.
The study, conducted by a team of Australian researchers and published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, examined activity patterns and other function markers for 51 patients with hip replacement, 66 years on average, at one point before and after getting a new hip.
The project was not limited to reviewing in one week. The authors waited patiently, conducting activity assessments a year after the surgeries and then a year later, taking advantage of ways to tell the truth about activity trackers worn on the wrist.
Data from these bands were added to the researchers ’other assessments, readings, and questionnaires that told a history of patients who reported less pain, increased quality of life, and improved biomechanics on foot, speed, and step.
But, unfortunately, not a minute less was spent on the stationary setup. On average.
In contrast, the authors found that patients were sedentary for nineteen and a half hours a day before surgeries and also after surgeries. Again, on average.
Which is a great detail, says Dr. Michael Taunton, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.
“So there are some patients, because they’re getting older and their activity is declining,” he said. “You also have the small number of very young arthroplasty patients who really drastically increase their activity. The study isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.”
Dr. Michael Taunton. Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic.
These new hips will not lead you to the gym
“I think that’s something we see constantly,” said Taunton, who has no connection to the studio. “That patients before and after arthroplasty are generally no longer active.
“If someone hasn’t been very active for ten years because their hip hurt, no, they won’t be back where they were ten years ago.”
If you measure the number of steps someone takes a day before and after arthroplasty, Taunton says, “it doesn’t really change much. I think there are a lot of things involved.”
For starters, according to Taunton, the population undergoing hip replacement is often in a period of life in which it slows down, regardless of the limitations caused by joint pain.
“Somewhere around age 70 you start to physically decline,” he says. “It can’t be avoided … I hear a lot of patients say‘ if I could replace my hip, I could be much more active ’, it’s in the same line as‘ if I could replace my hip or knee, I could lose weight.
“We’ve found … that patients don’t lose weight after having their hip or knee replaced, in general. Some patients do. But we’re talking about stockings here. If someone doesn’t lead a very active lifestyle preoperatively they probably they will not change and become extraordinarily active people. ”
On the other hand, there is good news for those who are extraordinarily active, because artificial hips can, as it turns out, suffer a severe beating.
Taunton offers a previous tissue-saving procedure that avoids cutting muscles and, for qualifying patients, abandon the procedure with a hip that has no asterisk.
“I’ll see them again in three months and say,‘ right now you have no restrictions, ’” he says. “” I say, “You should let the pain be your guide, but the more active and strong you are, the better you will feel.”
“I try to emphasize to them that they have no restrictions in relation to the joints. Their restrictions will be based on their body.”
Taunton says he has artificial hip receivers who play professional-level sports and all down.
“I have people from the elderly who do water skiing, alpine skiing, hiking, tennis and pickling,” he says. “The sky is the limit. The limits are much more about the patient’s overall fitness, not about joint replacement.”
But you need to get out of your preoperative routine.
“Sometimes people want to go out and walk every day will make them strong,” he says, “and that’s not the case. You need to do more varied activities and focused focused exercises to get that benefit.”
For their part, the Australian authors advised health systems to provide a more multifaceted model of care after hip replacement procedures, a hip surgery that ultimately also identifies barriers to activity after hip surgery.