Hip replacement trends: faster recovery, younger patients

By John Nelander

Special to the Daily News

The first hip replacement surgery in 1962 was risky and complex. But patients today often can book dinner reservations for the same week that their surgery is scheduled.

“I usually tell my patients, ‘You’ll have surgery Monday, and you should be making dinner plans for Thursday or Friday,’” said Dr. Greg Martin, who performs hip replacement surgery at Good Samaritan and JFK medical centers. “I believe that the best chance for a good outcome is to be up, out of bed, on your feet and out of the hospital.”

That’s assuming that there are no complications, of course, which isn’t always the case. But younger people are having the procedure done now, sometimes as early as their 40s. And the healthier a candidate is — and the more active he or she is — the better the expected outcome.

“Most people when they think of hip replacement they think of their grandma, but really that’s not accurate,” said Martin, of Preferred Orthopaedics of the Palm Beaches in Boynton Beach. “About half the people getting hip replacements are older than 65, but half are under 65. People are getting hip replacements in their 50s and 40s and sometimes even younger. It’s a pretty broad age spectrum.

“The average age of people getting hip replacements is getting younger over time. That’s true with knees, as well. I’m not sure why that is, except that people aren’t as willing to give up activities in their lives, and I think that’s a big part of it.”

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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