One of the things that cropped up was the recent article I found on a couple of different studies result regarding hip replacements.  Artificial hips; there are some models and brands that are having some problems down the road as more and more people are getting knee and hip replacements.  More and more, we’re seeing people having problems, over the long term, with these joint replacements.

It’s interesting that some of the issues that they’re having are causing lots of lawsuits, lots of concerns. The FDA is asking manufacturers to come up with further safety review processes for long term use in patients.  These are all appropriate but as Teri Schmitt pointed out recently on an episode over at Insights in Nursing.com, the panel version of our nursing programming, replacement of joints should not be the treatment of choice for these patients. We had an interesting talk about things like hip replacements and some of these issues.  One of the problems that I see and she pointed out as well is that hip replacements and knee replacements are appropriate in some patients with specific issues but some people are going in and that seems to be the option of choice for patients that are experiencing osteoarthritis in those joints.  The treatment that would be much more cost effective and not involved in basic surgery or devices that could fail 5 years down the road is a program of weight loss and management, exercise and physiotherapy.  Those things are far less expensive than invasive orthopaedic surgical procedures and the concurrent risks associated with them.

Now there going to be situations wherein patients will need a hip replacement.  There are people with fractured hips and things like that, but for people with osteoarthritis, they are looking for these joint replacements as a way to manage their pain.  The way to manage your pain in many cases early on when it’s detected is to get your weight down and engage in more activity, physical therapy and exercise.  I think that Teri was dead on the mark when she talks about this.

This increased FDA scrutiny on long term durability is costing the medical industry and the physicians who install these devices a lot of money because of the lawsuits that are going to spring up as a result of this for patients that have had complications with these hips.  They are going to raise the insurance rates., it’s going to increase the cost of the surgeries because the surgeons are going to have to raise their bills.

Everything gets more expensive. What would have happened had a nurse been involved in taking care of these patients long term, helping the patient to adapt to a healthier life style, finding ways to motivate them and encourage them to lose weight?

So there’s a pitch for nurses to be running the world.  We’ve done it before we’ll do it again. We say that nurses should run the world, at least that’s the viewpoint here on The Nursing Show.

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This article has been featured in the news segment of the Nursing Show episode Inhalants and Episode 180.

 

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