Hip replacement improves mobility, saves money

June 17th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 17 (IANS) Elderly osteoarthritis patients who undergo hip replacement show vastly improved functioning and greater control over their movements than those who don’t. A study by Duke University Medical Centre - the largest of its kind - found that there is no age limit on the benefits conferred by hip replacement.

Besides, each total hip replacement also saves the healthcare system up to $6,000 in long-term cost of healthcare for the disabled.

An economic estimate put the yearly savings of a disability-free life at $50,000, including all related healthcare costs incurred by disabled patients such as hospital stays, nursing homes and home healthcare.

“We found that total hip arthroplasty improves everyday life for patients and is as beneficial to people in the 80s or 90s as it is for someone in their 60s,” said Linda George, associate director of the Duke Centre for the Study of Ageing.

“While the number of surgeries conducted in the US has increased dramatically … fewer than 25 percent of patients who could benefit from the procedure elect to receive it.”

Osteoarthritis of the hip is closely associated with ageing and obesity and affects 10 million Americans, causing pain, decreased mobility and increased risk of falls and fractures.

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