John T.A. Ely
Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(4): HY11-14
The need for arthroplasty, especially in the hip, arises primarily because of failure to replace damaged structural proteins as a result of improper balance in essential nutrients. The principal failure is an inadequate production of elastin resulting in cartilage consisting primarily of a collagen that may be flexible but is not elastic. In spite of the fact that an excess of protein, with adequate lysine, is commonly consumed by the affluent societies, this lysine is not utilized because of the inadequate intake of ascorbic acid necessary for virtually every step of the structural protein synthetic reactions. Experiments in animals support these conclusions. It is anticipated that dietary correction in candidates for total hip replacement will be able to restore normal hip cartilage (with corresponding improvements of other structural protein deficits throughout the body) in less than a year. Adoption of this regimen should result in: (1) a greatly decreased need for arthroplasties; and (2) better results in those that are performed, with less failures and less need for revisions. The benefits include much less suffering for patients and far lower medical costs.
Keywords: Arthroplasty - economics, Arthroplasty - trends, Diet - adverse effects, Hip Prosthesis - economics, Reoperation - economics