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Am I Too Young for a Hip Replacement?

Am I Too Young for a Hip Replacement?

Being able to move without pain is a crucial part of living an active, healthy lifestyle regardless of your age. Hip replacement surgery is an option, even for people younger than 50. New techniques and devices make hip replacement a good choice for younger people. 

At Performance Orthopaedics, our board-certified orthopedic specialist, David Dickerson, MD, and his team evaluate whether you need hip replacement surgery based on the health of your hip rather than on your age. 

If you’re an athlete who plays high-impact sports, if you regularly lift heavy objects, or if you have a condition that has damaged your hips, you may be a candidate for hip replacement no matter how old you are. 

How can you replace a hip? 

If you have a damaged, painful joint, replacement surgery can help. In the case of your hip, Dr. Dickerson replaces the joint with an artificial one made of plastic and metal components. 

Most of the time, before recommending joint replacement surgery, Dr. Dickerson tries other, more conservative treatments. But if those therapies don’t help, hip replacement could be the best solution.

Modern hip replacement

Your hip pain could be the result of trauma, arthritis, or other conditions that cause irreparable damage. 

In the past, hip replacement was performed using a technique called open surgery that required a long recovery time and had some associated risks. We use more modern techniques today. 

Minimally invasive surgical procedures mean you need less time to recover, a shorter hospital stay, and less damage to tissues surrounding the joint.

Additionally, recovery has changed. Doctors now understand that getting out of bed and moving early and often is usually the best way to recover following joint replacement surgery. Using your new joint helps your body heal. Most of our patients no longer need assistive devices after about two to three weeks. 

Better artificial joints

Along with improved surgical and recovery approaches, modern hip replacements use artificial joints that last far longer. In the past, artificial hips didn’t last as long as modern ones. That meant a younger patient who had a hip replacement would likely need another surgery. 

Today, artificial hips last 20 or more years. A recent study found that hip replacements in patients younger than 50 continue to work well after 35 years. Even if you put more stress on your new hip than an older person would and you end up needing a second surgery eventually, the decades of pain-free movement would be worth it. 

How young is too young? 

The answer to that question depends on many factors. It could be that hip replacement isn’t the right solution for you. Dr. Dickerson makes a recommendation based on your specific circumstances. 

If you’re having consistent hip pain, schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Whether you need a hip replacement or not, an exam and diagnosis is the first step to easing your pain. Our offices are located in Toms River and Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

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