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Am I Too Young for a Hip Replacement?

The elderly once held a monopoly in the hip replacement game, but that no longer holds true. Severe osteoarthritis accounts for most hip replacements, and it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age. Injury and overuse are the other two primary conditions that lead to hip replacement.

Osteoarthritis, injury, or excessive wear and tear in your hip can cause limited mobility and a lot of pain, no matter how old you are. When the soft, rubbery cartilage that is meant to cushion the ends of your hip bones wears away, this leaves your bones unprotected. Then inflammation sets in and the inevitable pain.

Our expert team of orthopedic surgeons at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates can evaluate your painful hip and let you know the best course of action. We always opt for the least invasive treatments first, but sometimes hip replacement surgery is the best option.

Hip replacements at a younger age are on the rise

One survey investigated a surge in hip replacements from 2000 to 2010. Over that decade, the number of surgeries increased by 172,000. Among patients ages 45-54, there was a 200% rise.

The statistics clearly show a trend toward more hip replacement surgeries among patients of all ages, especially younger ones. There are two main reasons for upswing:

Hip replacement surgeries are successful

One of the main reasons hip replacement surgery has become increasingly popular among younger patients is that the surgery is highly effective. Hospital stays are down to about a day and a half, and recovery usually only takes 2-3 weeks.

Newer materials make hip replacements last longer

The reason hip replacement surgery was reserved for the older population in the past was that artificial hips didn’t always last that long. Younger patients would still have many active years ahead when the replacements would wear out, and they’d need a second surgery. Because of this, surgeons rarely recommended them for patients under age 60.

However, with technological advancements in both the surgical procedures and the artificial hips, younger people can now count on keeping their new hip joints through their most active years. Today, nearly 90% of hip replacements are still functioning after 10 years, and 60% are still functioning after 15 years.

What to consider before opting for mid-life hip replacement surgery

All surgeries come with certain risks. That’s why the surgeons at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates recommend noninvasive measures first. If you and your surgeon decide to move forward with surgery, here are some things to consider.

How hip replacements are performed

When the pain in your hip prevents you from normal daily activities, such as work, exercise, walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of your car, it may be time to consider a hip replacement.

First, you are given general anesthesia so you will sleep through the procedure. Next, your surgeon makes an incision and removes the damaged ball and socket of your hip joint. If necessary, any damaged cartilage is also removed. Once the surfaces of your bones are prepared, your surgeon attaches your artificial joint to your thigh bone and hip bone.

The benefits of hip replacement surgery

If you’re an athlete or otherwise extremely active, your new hip will undergo more wear and tear than if you led a more sedentary life. But that doesn’t mean a hip replacement isn’t for you. The younger you are, the easier your recovery will be. The bottom line is, only you can decide if your pain has reached the point where you need to do something about it. The good news is, you have a lot to gain, including:

If hip pain has sidelined you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Peninsula Orthopedic Associates today.

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