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HIQA introduces stricter guidelines for hip replacements

HIQA has released new guidelines maintaining that patients with arthritis of the hip should first be treated and managed by physiotherapists and their local GP before they are referred for hip replacement procedures.

Under the new guidelines that were released recently HIQA has said that only patients that meet strict and specific criteria will be considered for hip replacement operations in the future. One of the reasons for this according to the independent safety body is that the number of people having hip replacement surgery is on the rise due to the number of obese patients having the operation.

Some of the criteria that patients with arthritis of the hip will have to meet includes..

* No improvement in the condition following at least three months of GP/physiotherapist treatment.

* These patients should have severe symptoms and/or moderate to severe movement limitation, significantly affecting their quality of life.

* Patients should also have x-ray evidence of hip osteoarthritis and have a body mass index of less than 40 (over 40 is classified as very severely obese). Obese patients are generally estimated to be at increased risk of complications around the time of surgery.

* Patients should also still want the surgery following a discussion with health professionals on its pros and cons.


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