Mr Dan Williams answers listeners questions on BBC Radio 4
Tuesday 23 August 2016

Mr Dan Williams, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Duchy Hospital answers BBC Radio Cornwalls listeners questions regarding hip problems on the Laurence Reed lunchtime show. If you missed the show here are some of the Q & A's:-

Caller 1

In 2012 had both hips replaced at Duchy Hospital, cannot speak highly enough of the care he received from Dan Williams and the team at Duchy. Made a great recovery and can now do most things, however just cautious of lifting heavy objects.


Q. How many hip replacements do you carry out each year?

A. Between 70-80 hip replacements and about the same number of revisions.

Q.Why do hips go wrong and what are they made of?

A. Sometimes the hip comes out of the joint and they do wear out as we live longer. There is a very low infection rate with hip replacements, generally 1:100. Technology and design has dramatically improved over the years, generally titanium with a choice of ceramic or plastic liner.

Caller 2

Q. Had 2 hip replacements, one total hip and one hemi hip; the hemi hip does not hold as well as the one that is 23 years old. What is a hemi hip?

A. A hemi hip, or hemiarthroplasty, is when we only replace the ball not the socket, this lowers some of the risks and the results for hip fractures are usually equivalent. Suggested assessment and possible referred through the choose and book system.

Q. I do yoga and can stand on one leg with no problem but not the other.

A. Suggest further assessment as this can be improved.

Caller 3

Q. Left total hip replacementin 2007, never given any advice and has been very active, is that okay?

A. Best advice is to keep active though avoid contact sports, marathon running and anything with high impact. If you play tennis play doubles rather than singles.Hip is now starting to clunk when cyclingMaybe change the cycling position; but the message is to keep the muscles around hips and back strong.

Caller 4

Q. Right hip cracked getting into bed, now experiencing ongoing pain, has had x-ray and MRI and has been told he has osteoarthritis. Pain radiates from lower back through buttocks and down leg.

A. Worth having a clinical assessments and being referred, Duchy also offer spinal services if it is back related.

Caller 5 

Q. Had a hip operation 4 years ago, been having problems ever since and it just does not feel right. Suggestions have been made that it could be back related however it feels as though bones are rubbing and it is seriously affecting quality of life. Can no longer go out for walks and can just about go into 2 shops before having to home. Because of the pain walking is not right and therefore creates problem with back. Has seen a physio and been told there is nothing more they can do. On a scale of one to 10 the pain is at level 10.

A. See a lot of people in this kind of situation, ask for a referral from your GP as I am sure there is something we can do to help.


Q. What is the recovery time from a hip operation?

A. After 6 weeks should be feeling good and great by 3 months.

Caller 6

Q. Has been experiencing problems with hip and invesigations have shown gapping around the hip joint, currently in the process of being referred.

A. I suggest visiting and completing the online assessment to allow the Consultant to find out more about the pain you are experiencing and gives an opportunity to follow any recovery or deterioration.

Caller 7

Q. Left leg pulling when going upstairs and bottom also hurts, feels as though sitting on bone. Could be to do with stiff clutch in the car or mowing the lawn.

A. Could be related to your back or hip and is worth obtaining a clinical assessment or referral. An X-ray would point in the right direction of the problem.


Q. Is every hip different, are we all unique and do you ever get any surprises?

A. I have been very fortunate to work and train in high volume centres, such as Vancouver General Hospital,where I saw and operated on a lot of cases, seeing what is possible in most situations. I am lucky to work with great teams at both RCHT and Duchy Hospital all with a wealth of knowledge; so we’ve got most cases covered one way or another!

Caller 8

Would like to compliment Duchy Hospital, had both hips done there and was back at work in 6 weeks. 

Caller 9 

Q. Query about previous comments about where pain is located. Has had 3 hip replacements over the years and has been reasonably active until recently when slid of a chair. Now housebound and walks with crutches. Stiff in the morning and it wears off at lunchtime. What is the difference in the location of pain is hip pain related to groin pain. Feels as if wrenched joint and can no longer go up steps, however can weight bear.

A. If you are in pain you must do something about it and askyour GP for a referral.

Caller 10 

Q. Under the age of 50 and been told too young to have a replacement.

A. There are no age restrictions.

Caller 11

Q. Been waiting for a spinal procedure for months, however has pain in the hips and thigh. Has been told base of spine is crumbling. 

A. The nerves in the back also supply the hips and legs, therefore it is possible that it is back related. Suggest to go back to GP and be referred to spinal Surgeon at Duchy.

If you would like to book an appointment to see Mr Dan Williams please contact the team at Duchy who will be more than happy to help.