About 2-3 years ago Martin, 75, a retired Local Government Officer began to notice changes in his hips as he was moving which gradually became more noticeable as time went on. After Martin has sought help from his local GP and a registrar at Pontefract hospital, he was informed that the waiting lists on the NHS would be too long for him to be able to wait and so he approached Spire Methley Park.

Martin was booked for an initial consultation with Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Ng, in June 2021 and his X-rays were requested in time for the appointment for Mr Ng to review.

Martin says ‘I was told that the NHS waiting list would be nearly two years and I knew that I would be unable to wait that long. I had been to Spire Methley Park before for a hernia operation so I was familiar the hospital and happy to return for help again. After Mr Ng had reviewed my X-rays he informed me that they indicated that there was no cartilage in my right hip but my left hip was passable for now. I was very surprised and upset by the diagnosis as I live on my own so I worried about what would happen if I didn’t have the operation.’

A hip replacement is a common operation to remove worn or damaged parts of your hip joint and replace them with an artificial joint to help you move more easily and to reduce pain. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can make it hard to manage everyday tasks eg getting dressed, having a bath or walking. Chronic (long-term) pain can also prevent you from sleeping well and enjoying life.

In a total hip replacement operation, your surgeon will hollow out your hip socket and remove the top of your thigh bone. To create your new joint, they’ll implant a new socket (cup) in the hollow of your pelvis and insert a rod (stem) with a ball at the upper end into your thigh bone. A spacer made of plastic, ceramic or metal will be placed between the ball and cup to create a smooth gliding surface. The new components are fixed to your bones using acrylic cement. Although, if you’re more active, you can have one or both parts fixed without cement. In these cases, the implant surface is roughened or coated in a special material that helps encourage natural bone growth and fusion with the implanted prostheses. Hip joint implants can be made from ceramic, metal or plastic. The most common combination of prostheses is a metal ball and plastic socket. Alternatively, and often used if you’re younger or more active, you can have a ceramic ball with a ceramic or plastic socket.

Following the procedure and now recovering well at home Martin says of his experience ‘I was sore after the operation, as expected, but I was up and moving the next day. I could walk a bit without crutches and was allowed home in the afternoon. It was challenging for a couple of weeks after bit I was walking a mile or so within a few days and I have built up my mobility since. The physiotherapist I saw in my follow up advised I was doing splendidly but did warn me to keep doing the exercises as instructed and stand up straight! My experience at Spire Methley Park was very satisfactory and now I feel absolutely excellent – like the ‘raising of lazarus’.

Now eight weeks post operation I can walk a good distance at a fair pace and things are returning to normal, although I do wonder how long my left hip will last now. It may just be the best money I have spent and if you can afford it and need the operation I would get it done. I do think that private waiting lists will start to rise but if you can avoid the NHS waiting lists then I would certainly do so.’