Too Young for a Hip Replacement? Maybe Not
Once, hip replacement surgery was mainly for the retirement set. Today, a growing number of young and midlife adults are having the surgery, too.
Arthritis, injuries, and other conditions can cause serious hip damage at any age and interfere with daily activities. Nonsurgical treatments, such as medicine and physical therapy, are tried first. But if they don’t provide enough relief, surgery may be an option.
In a hip replacement, surgeons remove damaged bone and cartilage. Then they’re replaced with sturdy artificial parts. Today’s artificial hips can handle more strain than older models. Still, having the surgery while young means living longer with the new hip. That’s an added consideration if you’re thinking about getting a hip replacement.
Sooner or Later
Compared to older adults, young hip replacement patients are sometimes in better overall health. That improves the chances of a good outcome. People who get a hip replaced before the joint damage is too advanced also tend to recover more easily.
Yet there’s a downside to being younger as well. After 15 to 20 years, the surface of the new hip joint can start to wear away. Pain and difficulty with everyday activities may return. In some cases, another surgery might be needed. A second surgery on the same hip is generally more difficult than the first one. Before your first surgery, your doctor can provide information regarding the best postoperative care regimen for the new implant.
Hip replacement surgery may lead to dramatically reduced pain. But it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering this option, weigh the pros and cons carefully with your surgeon.
Learn more about the exciting robotic technology in use at Western Connecticut Health Network for joint replacement procedures: