Role emotional and mental health support to help early recovery of hip replacement patients

Replacement of the human joints when diseased or damaged during trauma is an incredibly effective operation. Every year, orthopaedic surgeries effectively restore physical function and relieve pain for millions of Europeans. However, despite great surgical achievements and uniform pain alleviation after total joint replacement, there is still significant heterogeneity in functional progress after joint replacement.

Besides, physical condition, poor mental health has been identified as a key parameter impacting early recovery. The patients who are being waiting for hip replacement or already done so, need mental health support apart from just focusing on pain relief. In a study on 900 patients in UK, 72% showed deterioration in their mental health before and after the surgery. Poor functional performance have been linked to inadequate mental health, such as anxiety and depression, as well as poor coping skills and social support.

According to data from the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register, depression and anxiety levels were strong predictors of pain alleviation and patient satisfaction. Thus an appropriate assessment of emotional health has been suggested that may enable a modification in the way patients are managed. The emotional support can help to improve the pain tolerance of the patients. It was also observed that patients with limited pain tolerance, whether they have good or bad emotional health, are more likely to report lower postoperative gains. Thus anyone with arthritis who is awaiting or had surgery should not be left alone. Apart from the emotional support, personalised self-management support, signposting to financial support and advice have been recommended. Teams of clinicians, including physical therapists, behavioural psychologists, and other support specialists, may get involved in such activities.

More study is required to establish perioperative postoperative techniques that simultaneously promote the physical and emotional health of the patients in order to ensure maximal functional gain following technically successful surgery.



This article was written by MM Raihan as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Raihan is researching In-situ Measurement of Nano-scale Wear Utilising Advanced Sensors at the University of Leeds, UK.