Medical Questions » Arthritis Questions » Question No. 90
Question:After a very bad motorbike accident in which my son broke his hip, my son has been doing heavy farm work, but recently he has a lot of pain and stiffness in the joint in the morning. His doctor says he will need a hip replacement as there is arthritis showing on X-rays of the joint. He is only 28. Can exercise or diet stop him from having the operation?
Answer:After breaking his neck of femur (hip bone) your son' s leg may have reset at a slightly different angle to before. This, combined with the heavy work he is doing, may have placed abnormal stresses on the hip joint, and resulted in premature arthritis of the joint. With rest, the joint stiffens as microscopic adhesions form in the joint. With movement in the morning, these are broken down, causing pain for a while until the joint starts moving freely again. Unfortunately, this problem will slowly worsen with time and the only effective long-term treatment is a hip replacement operation. Anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy exercises may help in the short term, but there is no diet that will be of any benefit. The operation is very successful, and young people who need such an operation usually recover rapidly. There is no reason why the steel hip replacement should not be successful in carrying your son around and allowing him to do heavy work and play sport. The timing of the operation depends on your son. When the discomfort of the hip worries him enough to want an operation, then he should sec an orthopaedic specialist to have it arranged.
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