Should Younger Patients Undergo Total Hip Replacement?

Monday 21 August 2017, 8:31PM
By Anuj Gupta


The total number of total hip replacement surgeries conducted in a year is on the rise, especially in a country like the United States (US). It is estimated that people as young as the ones in their 20s and 30s are now opting for this complicated procedure because of an increasing incidence of chronic hip pain in them.

There is a lot to consider when a patient below 50 years of age is advised to undergo a total hip arthroplasty to achieve relief from chronic hip pain resulting out of an underlying condition or a hip injury. Since such candidates are expected to live longer and conduct all types of activities later in life, the decision to conduct or undergo a surgery must be carefully evaluated and considered again.

This is the reason why a majority of hip replacement surgeons may decide to turn away younger patients who are in need of a hip replacement surgery. They may, in fact, postpone the decision until the patient reaches an age when only one hip replacement surgery with zero possibility of a revision surgery can be conducted.

Why younger patients must avoid undergoing total hip replacement surgery?


They are likely to live more than their implants

Younger patients who undergo hip replacement surgery are likely to outlive their hip implants. Therefore, the chances of a revision surgery for hip implant replacement are far more in patients aged below 50. A need for another hip surgery in a lifetime may cause a problem with recovery and lower the bar of overall health.

They may just have jumped to surgery

Another reason why younger patients must avoid total hip replacement is that they may not have considered some basic alternatives to it. Medications, physical therapy, injections, and active lifestyle are some of the options that must be explored before taking the surgical decision.

It could put you at risk

Younger patients, especially the ones with an existing disease or illness such as uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, are more likely to risk their lives by undergoing total hip arthroplasty at such an age. The surgeons may, in fact, refuse to proceed with the surgery if the candidate is addicted to smoking. It is important to ensure a sound mental and physical health before undergoing hip arthroplasty.

Let technology bloom

Considerable technological advancements have been reported in the last few years, especially when it comes to knee and hip implants. The modern version of the hip implants available today can last for over a period of 20 to 25 years. If a younger candidate decides to wait for a few years, there are chances that the lifetime of the implants would considerably improve by then.

There are surgical alternatives available

There are surgical alternatives available to total hip replacement, depending on the extent of your injury and the type of damage that you suffer from. Sometimes, candidates recommend alternative surgeries such as periacetabular osteotomy (PAO), high tibial osteotomy (HTO), or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) as an alternative to total knee replacement. These surgeries are less invasive than total knee arthroplasty and are likely to produce better surgical and clinical outcomes in younger patients.