When a hip is healthy, the bones move freely against one another as the joint is used. This smooth movement is made possible by a lining of articular cartilage
on the ends of the bone surfaces which reduces friction.
Osteoarthritis causes the articular cartilage to become worn and damaged, leading to increased friction in your joint as the bones move across one another. Eventually, the cartilage may become so worn that your bones begin to grate directly together as they move. This causes severe pain and stiffness, often making it very hard to move around without a walking aid.
Before hip replacement surgery is ever considered, non-operative treatments will usually be used to successfully manage and relieve the symptoms caused by early-stage osteoarthritis. Typically, these treatments may include:
Many people find these are more effective in the earlier, milder stages of osteoarthritis. These non-operative treatments can all be arranged for you here in Harrow, and your consultant will make sure you receive the most appropriate treatment(s) for your specific needs at every stage.
While these treatments are often very helpful, when osteoarthritis progresses and causes more extensive damage to your joint, they often become less effective. When this happens, you may be advised by your consultant to consider hip replacement surgery as the most suitable way to experience relief from pain.
Making the decision to have hip replacement surgery
Assuming your osteoarthritis has caused such extensive damage to your hip that surgery is now an option, your consultant will discuss the surgery with you.
They will explain:
- How the operation is done
- What to expect as you recover from the surgery
- Any risks or possible complications you need to be aware of
This discussion is important. Your consultant will give you their expert opinion, but the final choice as to whether to have hip replacement surgery or not is always yours. There is never any pressure on you, and your consultant will be very happy to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.
How long is the waiting time for hip replacement surgery in Harrow?
In 2019, the population of Harrow was 251,2001. This number is expected to grow, and Harrow council estimates that by 2041 over one fifth (22%,) of the people living in Harrow will be aged 65 or over2.
Severe osteoarthritis requiring surgery is more commonly seen in people as they age. As a larger percentage of the population move into this age bracket, the number of people needing hip replacement surgery in Harrow will invariably increase. With demand exceeding capacity for the foreseeable future, waiting times will continue to increase.
With waiting times for hip replacement surgery in Harrow getting longer, many more people are now choosing to have hip replacement surgery at The Clementine Churchill Hospital to get their surgery carried out at a much earlier date. We would be delighted to help you too.