New advances for hip surgery

Recovery: Hannah Blackburn is making a steady recovery following her hip replacement surgery.
Recovery: Hannah Blackburn is making a steady recovery following her hip replacement surgery.
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Hip replacement procedures are often stereotyped as something only elderly patients undergo.

Doctors had previously suggested patients should delay the surgery for as long as possible, as the implants used only lasted for around 10 years, meaning people put off the operation under they were older.

However, new advancements in medical technology have led to stronger implants and new methods, and as a result the number of younger patients opting for the surgery is growing, according to new figures.

For business development director Hannah Blackburn, from Leeds, the pain she was in before undergoing the operation was unbearable.

The 40-year-old said: “The pain felt like a red hot poker running from my hip to my ankle. I do a lot of gym work and like to keep fit and it affected the amount of exercise I could do. It was so painful at night that I had to get up and walk around and work became challenging as it involves a lot of travelling.”

She was referred to Spire Leeds Hospital, and an X-ray revealed her hip had worn away to bone on bone.

Hannah was first treated with physiotherapy and steroid injections.

But after her pain worsened, she decided to go ahead with surgery in February at the hospital, using new technology with a long-lasting implant.

She said: “I had almost resigned myself to living with the pain. I would have had the surgery done sooner if I had known that was not the case. The nursing staff were superb. I knew I was in good hands.”

She is now making a steady recovery and plans to return to work this week.

‘We have more confidence...’

Jon Conroy, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon who helped treat Hannah, offers a specialist young adult hip clinic at Spire Leeds Hospital.

He said: “With a new generation of hip implants and techniques we are seeing an increase in the numbers of younger people who need surgery but don’t want to wait or to live with pain.”

“Hannah had a condition called hip dysplasia that predisposes to early arthritis. We now have more confidence about the wear rate of these new prosthetics which allows us to be less restrictive on an age basis as people are now keeping active longer than ever before.”