Nicola Wheeler talks about her exit storyline and hip replacement
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Nicola Wheeler has graced our TV screens for over twenty years now. The actress, who is best known for playing the role of Nicola King in ITV’s Emmerdale, is currently the second longest serving female cast member on the soap. Nicola recently provided a rare glimpse into her life outside of the show, revealing she underwent a major operation.
The soap star said she was required to undergo hip replacement surgery in a recent interview.
Nicola revealed she had to take a couple of months off to recuperate before returning to set.
Despite returning to set, the soap actress said she is still recovering from the operation.
The Emmerdale star explained that a stunt double took over for the physical parts of Nicola King’s assault as she was still healing.
She recounted her experience to This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
She said: “I took a couple of months off for a hip replacement and they told me about this story.
“They said ‘What we are going to do is we are going to bring you back and beat you up, is that okay?’
“I said ‘Fine, but I can’t throw myself on the floor’ so the stunt double did anything truly physical just because obviously I was still healing.”
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Why might you need a hip replacement?
A hip replacement is a common type of surgery where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one (known as an implant).
The NHS explains: “Hip replacement surgery is usually necessary when the hip joint is worn or damaged so that your mobility is reduced and you are in pain even while resting.”
Although it’s unclear the reason Nicola needed a hip replacement, the most common reason for hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, explains the health body.
Other conditions that can cause hip joint damage include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hip fracture
- Septic arthritis
- Disorders that cause unusual bone growth (bone dysplasias).
How long the recovery takes
“Full recovery from a hip replacement varies from person to person, but most people are doing well three months after the surgery,” explains the Mayo Clinic.
The health body continues: “Improvements typically continue during the first year after surgery.
“The new hip joint can reduce pain and increase the hip’s range of motion. But don’t expect to do everything you could do before the hip became painful.”
It adds: “High-impact activities, such as running or playing basketball, might be too stressful on the artificial joint. But in time, most people can participate in lower-impact activities — such as swimming, golfing and bicycle riding.”
What the procedure involves
Hip replacement is usually a big operation.
Bupa explains: “During hip replacement surgery, your surgeon will make a cut (between 8 and 20 centimetres long) over your hip and thigh. They’ll then divide your hip muscles and separate (dislocate) your ball-and-socket joint.
“Your surgeon will replace both the ball and socket parts of your hip joint. That means removing the ball at the top of your thigh bone and putting in a replacement on a long stem.”
According to the health body, this can either be fitted tightly into the inside of your thigh bone or sometimes it’s “glued” in using a special cement.
“A shallow cup is made in your hip bone and an artificial socket put into it. Then your surgeon will then put your hip joint back together (they’ll fit the ball into the socket).”
Finally, Bupa says, your surgeon will close the cut in your skin with stitches, clips or glue and cover it with a dressing.
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