Thursday, 12 August 2010

Hip Surgery

My sister, who is 51, was diagnosed 15 months or so with sciatica. Not being terribly medically minded; not much of a fan of self-diagnosis; nor, indeed the Internet as a source of information she accepted her GPs diagnosis.

Some months ago the company she works for offered, in conjunction with a health company, the opportunity to see a chiropractor. She attended a diagnostic at which the practitioner worked on her back and lower spine. Feeling good afterwards she decided to sign up for the package – x sessions for £xx.

On further investigation and with the assistance of x-rays it transpires that my sister has an arthritic hip; and, the ‘wear and tear’ is quite advanced. While Sis could afford a few hundred quid for the chiropractor activities there’s no way she can afford the roughly 10 grand to go privately.

She visited her GP a couple of weeks ago and explained that she’d seen a chiropractor; the diagnosis from the chiropractor was arthritis not sciatica as diagnosed by another practice GP; and, as she was in quite considerable pain what could be done. The GP read the notes from the chiropractor, and while not disagreeing didn’t agree either.

The GP wasn’t too happy about her using non-NHS services; and, told my Sis in no uncertain terms that she couldn’t have a hip replacement operation until she was 60! Ok, my Sis is probably jumping the gun. She needs to first to get the x-rays from the private company to her GP.

Here’s my question. Given that she does need a new hip is it written in stone somewhere that the NHS won’t carry out hip replacement operations until the patient reaches 60?

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