As we all might have already suspected, the largest, constantly replaceable segment of the population is composed of the elderly. Even so, modern medicine tends to ignore old people, or simply not to focus as much on them. And that is a shame because our elderly deserve just as much attention in the field of medical development as anyone else.
While new therapies are constantly being developed, that would also help them, others simply tend to ignore their existence. This is why we’ve only figured out after decades that hip replacements might require just home therapy, without any of the expensive outpatient physical therapy.
The elderly and hip replacements
Hip replacements, despite not being routine, are still quite a common procedure among the elderly. Most hip replacements generally occur while the patient is between 50 and years old, and they come as the result of painful damage caused by either a fracture or arthritis. Some old people with a sense of humor that go through the procedure jokingly refer to themselves as hipsters.
After the surgery, most patients are recommended to start outpatient physical therapy. Although useful, it turns out that this therapy is unnecessary, as the people that go through it can get the same results if they perform physical exercises at home.
This is very important, as it helps patients save a lot of time and money. Generally, recovering hip replacement patients are recommended between 20 and 30 sessions of physical therapy, each session costing between $10 and $60, depending on the physical therapist.
Hips don’t lie
But a new study shows that all that money and time spent on the road is not really necessary. Patients get the same results whether they see a specialist about their therapy or if they just perform an easily accessible series of exercises at home.
In the study, the team of researchers looked at 77 hip replacement patients and divided them into two groups. One group underwent formal, outpatient physical therapy while the second did a series of prescribed exercises on their own.
The patients’ progress was measured at one month, and then at six after the operation, with the researchers analyzing their usage of stairs, ability to walk, flex, sit painlessly, and other factors that rate mobility. The results were pretty much what the team expected.
As it turns out, there was absolutely no difference between the two groups. Both seemed to keep to their exercises and both groups ended up having the same level of recovery. Thanks to the study, more and more medical experts are considering recommending home therapy.
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