Why Age is a Critical Factor in Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is something you would typically expect to need in "old age." It's something that our parents or grandparents need; not something we should need.

The thing is, hip arthritis or injury does not wait. There are individuals as young as their 40s or 50s who live with chronic hip pain due to osteoarthritis. When hip replacement has historically been performed much later in life, where does that leave the younger patient regarding quality of life? More and more, we see a shift in the age requirement placed on this beneficial procedure.

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Hip Replacement and the Matter of Age

The primary concern related to hip replacement has been longevity. Hip replacement surgery involves replacing a degraded structure with an implant. Historically, these medical implants have been made of metal and plastic. It is this type of implant that has been studied the most, and research suggests a life span of 10 to 15 years, and that is in an older patient.

A younger person, especially one that is more active, will invariably place the implant under more physical stress, and for a longer period. With this in mind, the common school of thought has been that one really can be too young to garner all of the available benefits from hip replacement surgery.

The flip side of this ideology is that the middle-aged adult plagued by chronic hip pain is undoubtedly suffering a lower quality of life than he or she would otherwise. A person who is in pain is less likely to maintain an active lifestyle, and more likely to rely on pain medication on a regular basis. This standard of living can increase the risk of diseases related to poor fitness, such as cardiovascular disease.

Additional Factors in Hip Replacement

In addition to age, other factors must also be considered when discussing options to relieve chronic hip pain. These include:

  • Activity level. Clearly, this cannot be judged based on the current status, because pain may be standing in the way of the ideal level of activity. After hip replacements our patients can almost always return to their normal life both at home and at work.  Your surgeon will review all the activities that you can participate in.
  • Weight. Obesity is a physical stressor that affects the joints, muscles, and organs throughout the body. After hip replacement, weight management becomes even more crucial to health and wellbeing; both of the patient and of the implant.

At Hartzband Center for Hip & Knee Replacement L.L.C, we are committed to provide complete care for painful knee and hip conditions. For more information on how to manage hip pain, call  201-291-4040.

Category: Hip Replacement

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