In 2019 Carol Beecroft, 64, began to notice changes in her hips as she was moving which gradually became more noticeable as time went on. After seeing several physiotherapists Carol was referred to Spire Methley Park through her local GP to see a specialist Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon.
Following an initial consultation with Mr Ng, it was determined that Carol was suffering with arthritis in her hip and was scheduled for a full hip replacement in July 2021.
Carol says ‘I suspected that I had arthritis in my hips as I have it in my knees and lower back also. The diagnosis that it was in my hips as well didn’t come as a surprise. In my consultation with Mr Ng he assessed my movement and gait and as I had already had x-rays taken in the NHS, they were able to be sent to Spire Methley Park so Mr Ng could view these to confirm the diagnosis.’
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 Carol says of her experience ‘I was kept informed of the procedure throughout. There was good support from the nursing staff, physiotherapists, Mr Ng and the anaesthetist. I could hear what was happening through the operation which I wasn’t keen on however all the staff were very attentive and encouraging during and after the procedure. I was discharged after staying in for one night with medication to help manage any discomfort and my husband on hand to help look after me, after two weeks I was moving around reasonably well, I went down to one crutch after four weeks and a stick after eight weeks.
A few weeks later I had my follow up appointment where the nurse checked on my wound and removed the stitches and the physiotherapist assessed my progress and gave me some more exercises to complete. I am now three months post operation and I feel much better than I did before. I am still in a little discomfort but I am building up the distance I can walk and have managed to walk more than a mile and half.
I am enjoying returning to normal life now and getting back to my hobbies which include walking, cycling, gardening, reading, music and puzzles. I am pleased that I went ahead with the operation and any worries that I had about it didn’t come to anything. I would definitely advise anyone in the same position as I was to have the operation before the pain becomes too unbearable and debilitating.’