If you’re suffering from chronic hip joint pain, it’s comforting to know that Benenden Hospital is a Centre of Excellence for hip replacement. Our experienced surgeons help hundreds of patients to live active lives again and they could help you too.
Chronic hip pain can change your life by limiting your ability to walk, sit comfortably, exercise or perform daily activities. Often, the pain tends to be worse when you move your joint at the end of the day, or the joints may stiffen after rest, but the pain will then wear off as you get moving.
There are three common reasons why a hip joint can become damaged, cause pain and require surgery:
- The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis. Some of the cartilage covering the ends of the bones gradually roughens, becomes thin and the bone underneath thickens. All the tissues within the joint become more active than normal as they try to repair the damage. When the cartilage is lost or damaged, the bones rub against one another, causing severe pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack the cells lining your joints, making them stiff, swollen and painful. In time, the joint itself can become damaged.
- Hip fractures can also lead to the need for replacement. This problem is normally associated with older people and is often caused by a fall.
In the first instance, your GP will propose treating your condition using non-invasive methods, including pain relief, physiotherapy and steroid or cortisone injections. As a patient, only you can decide when you can’t bear the pain any longer and if you wish to be considered for surgery.
Once you’ve been recommended for surgery, your consultant will carry out certain tests and take x-rays to determine if surgery is the right option for you.
There are no age limits for having hip replacement surgery, but our specialists use different methods to ensure they achieve the best possible result for each person.
Once you’ve tried non-invasive treatments, most people assume that hip replacement is the only solution to chronic hip pain. Although not currently provided by Benenden Hospital, hip arthroscopy (key-hole surgery to repair limited damage) and hip resurfacing (repairing part of the joint with a metal plate) are two other solutions to hip joint problems.
At Benenden Hospital, we specialise in hip replacement – one of the most reliable procedures available, giving 90% of patients a normal life. Surgery involves replacing the upper end of the femur (thigh bone) with an artificial implant. This implant can last ten years or more. The ball part of the new joint is made from metal or ceramic, and the socket is made from plastic. The procedure only requires a relatively small incision, which limits the damage to the surrounding muscle tissue.
With our short-stay hip replacements, some patients can be discharged after just one night.
Treatment is usually recommended sooner rather than later. The greatest risk linked to delaying surgery is the deterioration of joint tissue and the progression of joint disease. As the disease progresses, the diseased joint will continue to grind away with the onset of increased pain. When you’re fitter and have greater mobility, the recovery is far quicker.
- At your initial appointment, you’ll have any necessary diagnostic tests, discuss the best course of action with your consultant and book a date for your treatment. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet your anaesthetist, pharmacist and physiotherapist who will discuss the process in more detail
- The surgery involves making a 15-30cm incision in the hip and thigh. After surgery, this incision is closed with stitches or clips
- In most cases, the procedure lasts no more than two hours. And, once back in your private en-suite room, you can relax and recuperate in peace
- Any pain felt directly after surgery is skilfully managed and, most patients report a dramatic increase in mobility soon after recovery, simply because the joint is functioning smoothly again
- Your recovery in hospital normally takes around two to three days, and you’ll be looked after continuously by our highly skilled nurses. When suitable some of our hip replacement patients can return home the day after surgery
- Guided by our physiotherapists, you’ll be encouraged to regain mobility, using crutches or a walking frame. The aim is to to get you back to living a normal life as quickly as possible.
You can access these services at Benenden Hospital in a number of ways: as a self-paying or privately insured patient; as a discounted self-paying Benenden member: or as an NHS patient, through the NHS e-referral system.
Self-funded or paying through medical insurance?
If you’re interested in coming to Benenden Hospital for your hip replacement surgery, and you’d like to discuss your options or book a consultation, please call 01580 242 521. We’ll be happy to give you an all-inclusive no-obligation quote once we fully understand your individual needs.
A Benenden member?
Hip replacements are not covered under Benenden membership.
Seeking treatment through the NHS?
Your GP can refer you direct via NHS e-Referral service, by going online to www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk or by calling 0345 6088 888 requesting Benenden Hospital.