Total hip replacements are on the rise in the United States, especially among adults in early middle age. And surgeons say people even in their 20s and 30s are having these procedures more often. But because younger patients live longer and play harder after joint replacement, some extra consideration goes into the surgical decision.
Rachael Remick, 24, works full-time on the family farm in southeast Iowa, growing row crops such as soybeans and corn. Athletic, strong and conditioned, Remick keeps up with her father and brother, whether she’s driving a tractor to pull a cultivator and prepare the ground for planting, changing hydraulic lines and tires on large farm implements, pulling loaded wagons to the grain elevator, baling and hauling hay or cutting down trees with a chainsaw.
You’d never think so to see her in action, but two years ago, Remick had a total right hip replacement.
Before that, her hip hurt throughout high school and beyond graduation. Even so, Remick jumped into college basketball. “You kind of get into this mentality that you play through pain and just deal with it,” she says. Nor did pain keep her from working on the farm: “I’m pretty strong-willed, and so I just did what I needed to do.”