What’s the best age for a hip replacement? Here’s a hint: They aren’t just for people over 65 anymore.
In fact, 76 million people in the United States experience some sort of hip pain. In the recent past, because hip replacements lasted only 10-15 years, doctors determined that they were only appropriate for older people. But, with today’s advancements in new procedures and titanium replacement implants, younger people are now also great candidates for hip replacements.
Updated materials for hip replacements make all the difference
When replacement hips were first being developed, the materials used in the implants were much less stable . Because of this, doctors were wary of performing surgery on patients under the age of 65 as it was likely they would have to perform a revision surgery – a surgery where the old implant had to be surgically removed and a new implant put in.
But as new materials revolutionized the hip replacement procedure, orthopedic surgeons could now use implants that lasted for decades—and make it possible for younger patients to see an improved quality of life.
These improvements have already shifted the average surgical age significantly. In the year 2000, the average age for a hip replacement was 66. By 2014, it was just under 65, with the fastest-growing age ranging between 55-64.
The world’s most successful hip implant developed at the Kennedy Center
In 1982, Dr. William Kennedy designed the Taperloc femoral component, a revolutionary technology, creating the most successful titanium hip in the world. In 1993, Dr. Jeffrey McLaughlin and the biomedical engineers at Biomet significantly modified the implant, which improved its performance and longevity.
How successful? In 2010, Dr. McLaughlin presented a paper at the International Orthopedic Conference that documented the accomplishments of the Taperloc Titanium stem over a 26 year period. At that time, more than 99% of the hips were still going great, regardless of the patient’s age, weight or activity level.
Why consider hip replacement at a younger age?
Ultimately, the best age for a hip replacement isn’t just about age, but about quality of life. Being able to move without pain lets you raise your activity level, which helps to reduce other medical issues like obesity and diabetes.
- You are unable to handle regular daily tasks.
- You have pain that keeps you awake at night, prevents you from walking or isn’t relieved by resting – even with prescribed medications,
- A surgeon feels alternate surgical options aren’t likely to help.
- Osteoarthritis is affecting your life both emotionally and physically.
- Prescribed medications are causing severe side effects.
- X-rays or MRI’s reveal significant joint damage or advanced arthritis.
Keep in mind that although hip surgery is common and beneficial, there are alternate treatments that may help postpone major surgery.
Take a step towards recovery
What’s the best age for a hip replacement? The best age is when hip pain reduces the quality of your life and you feel ready for a hip replacement. Age is no longer a factor in when to get a hip replacement. So when you feel that you want to get moving again, talk with an experienced orthopedic surgeon at the Kennedy Center at Mercy for the option that is best for you.
To discuss whether it’s time for a hip replacement, give us a call today.