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Health Matters: Timing is everything in hip surgery – NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida.

Updated: May 11, 2012 11:01 PM EST
FORT MYERS, FL Marcelene Cary had barely a leg to stand on. Severe arthritis stripped both hip joints.

“It became painful for me to walk and to get around or to turn over in bed or sleep.”

She didn’t take it lying down. Marcelene met with her doctors and took swift action. She had both hips replaced.

“I didn’t put it off, no, because they knew it had to be done,” says Cary.

“A hip replacement is when we actually remove the joint, that is remove the femoral ball and grind out the worn out socket and replace the ball and socket with a metal and plastic components,” says Dr. John Kagan, an orthopedic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

When it comes to hip replacements, research shows playing the waiting game is a losing proposition.

“When people have an arthritic hip they lose motion, they have a lot of groin pain and they want to get something done to get back to their activities,” says Dr. Kagan.

Researchers looked at post op hip patients at six months and again at two years. They found people who had joint replacement early in their decline had better outcomes years later.

At 86 years old, Marcelene is living in the moment.

“I ride my bicycle and I can walk. I bowl, I do anything I want to.”

It turns out timing is everything when it comes to a successful joint replacement.

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