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Transcript: "Deciding to Have Hip Replacement"

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D: What this x-ray shows is we have on the left a normal hip with normal anatomy, normal joint and if you come right across, you can see the diseased hip has a collapsed head -- there’s no joint space. There’s increased density of the bone on either side. So this x-ray shows a normal hip and a very arthritic hip.

Narrator: Dr. Anthony Rankin is an Orthopedic Surgeon who has performed hip replacement surgeries for more than 25 years.

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: A person should consider having hip replacement surgery when they’ve exhausted non-operative means. Pain that persons have that’s not responsive to medications or to physical therapy and pain that is disabling. One way of looking at how serious pain is, is what we term a visual analog. Looking at pain on a scale of 1 to 10 -- with 1 being mild, 5 moderate, 10 severe. If the pain is at less than 7, then we don’t even consider surgery.

Narrator: Mrs. Banks tried other therapies before deciding to have the surgery.

Wilhelmina Banks: I had Pilates thinking that would relieve some of the pain. Pilates exercises. And I had that for about six months and I was still having pain and then I had physical therapy and that did not work.

Narrator: So her physician referred her to Dr. Rankin, who after examining her and considering a variety of factors, recommended surgery.

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: My recollection is that Mrs. Banks came in quite disabled. She had a lot of pain. She was actually referred from an orthopedic colleague, so she had an awareness of why she was coming to the office. So when I recommended that she have hip replacement surgery, she was very ready to proceed with that.

Wilhemina Banks: Dr. Rankin explained that I did need, the x-rays did show that I did need the hip replacement, and he went over what was to happen before and after the surgery.

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: And your body, your bone will fix to this over time, that takes a matter of months. But once we get our initial fixation by tooling the bone to fit these components, we put them in a technique that’s called “press fit” and so we have initial fixation by press fitting this to the bone, and over time your bone will grow to that rough surface and gives it permanent fixation. A good hip replacement can last 20 to 25 years.

Narrator: Still, the decision to have hip replacement surgery was not an easy one for Mrs. Banks.

Wilhemina Banks: Not an easy decision because I had never had major surgery before and I was totally frightened about it. But I felt that maybe the surgery would reduce the pain and then I could live a life without the pain. But it was strictly pain.

Narrator: Although Mrs. Banks had reservations about surgery, today hip replacement is performed successfully on people in their sixties, seventies, and eighties.

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: Many people despite being in their eighties or even their early nineties occasionally have disabling hip pain. It might prevent them from sleeping at night. It certainly limits their ability to walk and be active. And these patients, if they are in good health, many of them can and do have hip surgery and do very well. Narrator: Mrs. Banks’ surgery and recovery went very well and she was able to resume activities that the pain had kept her from doing.

Wilhemina Banks: Well, I can drive without pain. I can walk without pain and I think it has just been pain free, the way it used to be.

E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: She has no limitations on her activities. She is able to do many of the things that she wishes to do and she’s been very pleased. I see the patients annually and I’ve been seeing her once a year for the past nine years and she’s done very well, and I think her hip will last another 10 years easily.

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