20 Apr 2021

60 years since the first hip replacement operation by Sir John Charnley

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At northlondonosteopaths Alan Nevies and his colleagues treat many hip related issues. These may arise from muscle or ligament strain in the area surrounding the hip, or certain injuries. Hip pain may also be caused by bursitis. A bursa is like a shock absorber that reduces the impact on the hip joint. Sometimes this gets inflamed. A groin strain from a ligament strain may result in an uneven gait, which in turn can affect the hip joint.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues use appropriate osteopathic techniques to solve the problem where possible. However there are times when osteopathy will not be the remedy for hip pain and depending on the severity and consequent lack of mobility, hip surgery may be necessary. Such situations may include arthritic changes within the joint or a hairline fracture.

Sir John Charnley’s contribution in this area has been invaluable. After years of painstaking research he pioneered the replacement of the hip joint. It is now 60 years since the first such operation. Surgical hip replacement may be total or partial. A partial hip replacement removes and replaces the ball of the hip joint. It does not replace the socket. This surgery is most often done to repair certain types of hip fractures. In a total hip replacement the damaged bone and cartilage, both ball and socket, are removed and replaced with prosthetic components.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths will recommend this procedure if it will improve a patient’s quality of life by relieving the pain and improving general movement if no other forms of treatment have helped.

In the past decade 1 million people in Britain and approximately 10 million people world-wide have benefited from this procedure. Recipients of a “new hip” often experience a “new life”, with one lady who had both hips replaced in 1983 reporting 38 years of pain free, highly productive life. She joins the legions of people very grateful to Sir John Charnley.