Is there an ideal age for you to get hip replacement surgery? In a word, no; it depends on the condition of the hip. While it used to be most common in elderly populations, more people than ever in the 45-54 age range require this intervention. If your hip pain is keeping you from participating in the activities you love, then a hip replacement may be a good option, regardless of age.
The hip replacement our orthopedic surgeons perform is basically a total replacement of your ball-and-socket hip joint. Your history of hip pain, its underlying causes, and your overall health will help to determine whether this surgery could be the solution to your chronic pain and mobility issues.
Our orthopedic surgery team at San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery consists of four physicians dedicated to eradicating your hip pain and to providing you with the best care possible – before, during, and after your surgery.
Hip replacement surgery recipients are getting younger
If you’re younger and suffer from osteoarthritis, you’re not alone.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage in a joint degrades and even disintegrates; the condition leads to chronic pain and limited motion. In advanced cases, the cartilage may disappear completely, leaving one bone to grate against another. Rates of advanced osteoarthritis have soared within the 45-54 age range in recent years, due primarily to wear-and-tear on joints due to a more active lifestyle among the younger set, as well as from repetitive activities that accompany physical labor. The hip, responsible for allowing us to walk and for absorbing impacts, is particularly vulnerable to the stress.
A 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed hip replacement statistics in the US from 2000-2010. The number of hip replacements performed during that time doubled, but while the majority of hip replacement recipients are 75 years of age or older, the number of patients in the 45- to 54-year-old age group increased by a whopping 205%.
If you are active, you’re experiencing pain and stiffness in your hip joint, and your doctor recommends hip replacement surgery, the chances are he’s spot-on in diagnosing an effective solution, even if you’re young. It will allow you to reclaim the active lifestyle you relished before chronic hip pain got in the way.
How do I know if I need hip replacement surgery?
You might be a great candidate for hip replacement surgery if:
- Pain is stopping you from enjoying much-loved activities like playing tennis or taking long walks
- Pain is chronic and no longer helped by noninvasive treatments like over-the-counter pain relievers
- You are in good overall health
If your doctor suggests hip replacement surgery, don’t fret. The procedure is common, enjoys a great success rate, and, more often than not, patients are back home from the hospital and perhaps some rehab within a week and back to enjoying their favorite activities within just 3-6 months. Complications from hip replacement surgery are also exceedingly rare, and we work with your primary care provider to make sure you’re cleared for the surgery.
What will happen on the day of my hip replacement surgery?
You’ll be fully sedated, after which your orthopedic surgeon will make an initial incision and exchange your diseased tissue or bone with a new, state-of-the-art hip joint, likely made of composite material or a light metal. After a brief period in post-surgery recovery, you’ll remain in the hospital for a few days, but you’ll be starting to walk the day after. During your at-home recovery period, you’ll want to take it especially easy for several weeks as you heal.
You will likely be prescribed some physical therapy in addition to regular exercise as you experience life with your new hip, but doctors recommend that you not engage in certain high-impact activities with your new hip, such as football and basketball.
Another major advantage of hip replacement surgery is that artificial hips now serve patients for 15-20 years or more, and often last for the rest of their lives.
If you think you’re too young for hip replacement surgery, think again
Our team at San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery is eager to fill you in on the successes that our younger patients are experiencing with hip replacement surgery. We not only have four of the best orthopedic surgeons in the region, but our entire staff focuses on finding the solution that’s right for you.