Hip replacement: risks and advice

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Rudert, Medical Director of the Orthopedic Hospital König-Ludwig-Haus in Würzburg, one of the best in Germany, talks about the hip replacement procedure and its advantages in this exclusive interview for Premium Europe.
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If you suffer from limited hip mobility and have tried physical therapy and pain medications, hip replacement could be the answer you are looking for. Aside from being the most common orthopedic surgery, it has a relatively short period of recovery and can help you improve your hip function and increase your quality of life. 

Who is a candidate for a total hip replacement?

A good candidate for a total hip replacement suffers from pain and restriction of daily activities due to hip joint damage. Conservative treatment has already been tried and did not help in the long term, i.e. symptom-free phases shorten and NSAIDs are taken in regular intervals. Indications for surgery are pain, decreased mobility, and as a sequel decreased quality of life.

What are the most frequent complications that can be suffered after a hip replacement?

Complications after hip replacements are rare. Accumulated, they should be less than 1% and are primarily the risk for hip dislocation and infection. People with health problems and chronic disorders are at higher risk for complications. The risk for hip dislocation decreases with time after surgery.

What type of activities will patients be able to do after a hip replacement?

In general patients will be able to carry out the activities they were capable of before the joint deteriorated. Sports activities are allowed after muscular recovery. This would be: fast walking, slow jogging, Golf, swimming etc. We do have physically fit patients that are skiing, jogging, playing tennis, dancing etc.

Indoor sports should be avoided because they tend to stress the artificial joint quite a lot.

In our view the joint replacement should be used to increase activity again. Otherwise the risk of the operation itself does not compare to the benefits of the procedure.

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