A 103 year-old man who has been living independently fell and fractured his left hip and was successfully operated on and given a complicated partial hip replacement. The doctors at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, South India said his bones were very weak and needed to have cement fixation of the implant and his heart was only 60% functioning, so this was not easy. However, they believed his only chance for survival was to have the partial hip replacement. The operation took one and a half hours. The prosthesis was Indian made titanium. They gave him an epidural rather than general anesthesia because they wanted him to wake up and know what was going on. Many seniors suffer delirium and cognitive complications after having general anesthesia. See more about memory loss and cognitive decline in seniors after surgery in our blog from May 11, 2018.
Osteoporosis Most Common Cause for Fractures in Seniors
The most common cause for fractures in women after menopause and men after the age of 70 is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means porous bones. It is a silent disease and often no one knows they have it until after they get a fracture. Read more about osteoporosis in our blog from March 13, 2018. Hip fractures have a very high rate of mortality in the first year following the fracture.
Osteoarthritis Most Common reason for a Total Hip Replacement
Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for seniors to undergo a total hip replacement. In this case the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones wears out and bone begins to rub against bone and walking can become very painful. Many seniors have to be on pain killing and anti-inflammatory drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Ways to Manage Pain from Osteoarthritis
However, physical exercise and physical therapy can sometimes help in maintaining mobility. For more about osteoarthritis and physical exercise see our blog from February 5, 2018.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain a substance called sulforaphane that has been scientifically shown to prevent the breakdown of cartilage in osteoarthritis. Eating more of these kinds of vegetables in large amounts may help. Only people on blood thinning drugs like warfarin should consult their doctor about how much broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can be safely eaten, as these contain a lot of Vitamin K, which can work against blood thinning drugs. For more about the benefits of eating broccoli see our blog from February 22, 2018.
Acupuncture has also been successful in treating the pain from osteoarthritis. Read more about acupuncture in our blog from March 23, 2018.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains a substance called oleocanthol, which has been scientifically shown to have the same effect as Ibuprofen in combating inflammation and pain, although it does not have the dangerous side effects of Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that can lead to heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure and bleeding. People who use extra virgin olive oil as the sole oil and fat in their diet report a relief in pain. Extra virgin olive oil can also be massaged into the knees, back and hips for further anti-inflammatory pain relief.
Rehabilitation after a Hip Replacement
Rehabilitation is necessary for a more successful recovery after hip replacement surgery. Some people prefer to go for a short-term rehabilitation program until they are completely healed. A good place for short-term rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery is the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York. Van Duyn also has great recreational programs and activities.
Seeing a 103 year old have a successful partial hip replacement after a hip fracture is truly heart-warming and should also give hope to seniors who are much younger who might need to have a hip replacement.