Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Benefits of total hip replacement to older patients and the community.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 01 July 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:37
  1. G K Wilcock


    The benefits of total hip replacement in 49 people aged 55-84 with osteoarthrosis of the hip were evaluated. The main benefit was relief of symptoms, 40 patients being pain free after operation. Range of hip movement and mobility improved moderately in most patients. After operation most patients were better able to perform certain activities of daily life, though only six were completely independent, the rest requiring aids or help from others. Nevertheless, 18 of the patients' main helpers estimated that they had more time free of tasks previously performed for the patient. There was a small reduction in the need for community medical resources such as home visits from general practitioners or district nurses. Thirteen patients were still taking antiarthritic drugs. Older patients needed to spend longer in hospital after operation because of complications. It was concluded that total hip replacement contributed to improving the quality of life of patients and their helpers, while also helping to reduce the demand for community health and welfare services.