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Why are hip replacement surgeries becoming popular among younger patients?

Medically reviewed by Shiraz K. Patel, MD | September 6, 2022

Doctors have previously reserved hip replacement surgeries for patients over age 65. However, more people in their 40s and 50s are opting for these procedures to deal with issues like arthritis, infection, childhood deformities, and injuries. Let’s examine the reasons why and see if the surgery is right for you.

Why opt for hip replacement?

Doctors typically prescribe nonsurgical treatments before scheduling an operation. These methods could include anti-inflammatory medication, exercise programs, electrical stimulation, steroid or biologic injection, and physical therapy. However, if your hip joint is too damaged, these treatments might not ease your pain. In that case, you could choose to replace the joint completely.

Does a hip replacement have drawbacks?

In the past, hip replacements haven’t worked well for younger patients. People in their 30s, 40s, and 50s tend to put more strain on their joints and often need the implants for decades longer than senior citizens. Unfortunately, the more active you are, the faster replacements wear out. So, if you choose hip replacement surgery, you might have to avoid activities—like running, jogging, and playing basketball—that put too much stress on the joints.

Why are hip replacements becoming more popular?

Recent technological advances have lengthened the life of hip replacements. Joint implants are now made with new and improved materials and could easily continue working 20 years after initial surgery. And, if the implants eventually wear out, doctors only need to make simple, modular exchanges instead of replacing all joint parts. This means patients can still enjoy active lifestyles, even with false hips. (Although, they will still wear out faster the more you participate in high-impact activities.)

Plus, hip replacement surgeries are largely successful, and patients who once experienced debilitating hip pain can now resume everyday life. They can even leave the hospital about 1.5 days after their surgeries and walk without assistance in as little as two or three weeks.

If you have any questions about hip replacement surgery and how it can impact your life, we’re happy to answer them. Call us at (270) 442-9461.