Healthy Life: Hips and knees

Hip and knee problems including arthritis are commonplace and, contrary to popular opinion, they affect a wide range of people, not just the elderly, says consultant surgeon Michael Moss

It is a common myth that arthritis can only be treated by medication followed by eventual joint replacement. But in recent years the development of new and improved techniques now allow earlier treatment of degenerate joints and reduce the rate of wear and tear, improving symptoms, and delaying, or removing, the need for joint replacement.

Improvements in knee surgery now allow more stable and stronger reconstructions of ligament injuries and new techniques are available to treat damage to the lining of the joint through arthroscopy or rather keyhole surgery.  The surface can be treated or sometimes grafted and replaced using tissue directly from the patient. 

Should the damage to one part of the knee joint be too severe then partial knee replacements are now commonplace and allow excellent function and return to some sports.

Two of the three compartments in the knee can be replaced at once, retaining the patients’ original ligaments. Such partial replacements also allow enhanced function.

Hip surgery has also seen dramatic improvements.  Resurfacing of the hip – where a few millimetres of worn lining between the ball and socket of the hip joint is removed – is now a popular choice for younger, more active patients  The benefits of resurfacing is that patients are able to retain most of their own bone – an important factor if hip replacement is required in the future. 

Movement and stability of the joint is also better and dislocation rare. This allows patients to get back to competitive sports such as squash, skiing and judo or even heavy manual work.  A previous patient has gone on to win the British over 50s national squash championship.

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Improvements in bearing quality and fixation of more conventional hip replacements also mean joints can now last over 20 years.  

About the surgeon

Mr Michael Moss is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Chichester Hospital and St. Richard’s Hospital, specialising in hip and knee surgery.  He is also an honorary Orthopaedic Consultant with the British Olympic Sailing Team.

Mr Moss teaches nationally across the country helping surgeons improve and excel at hip and knee surgery.  He has been at the forefront of the development of enhanced recovery following hip and knee surgery. He is a well known and experienced surgeon with excellent clinical results and outcomes and has an established national practice.

Mr Michael Moss will be giving a talk on Surgical Innovation: the Key to Pain Free Mobility followed by a question & answer session at Portsmouth Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre Portsmouth, Alexandra Park, Portsmouth, PO2 9PB on 28 February at 7:30pm.

To book your free space please call 0800 1218835 or visit

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