If you suffer from arthritis or chronic joint pain, your doctor may recommend an artificial hip to restore your mobility. Though total hip replacement surgery (or arthroplasty) is usually elective, it can profoundly impact your well-being and lifestyle. And in many cases, you may wish to try alternative treatments prior to surgery. Some patients successfully manage hip pain and arthritis symptoms through non-surgical treatments, like physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or anti-inflammatory medications. Plus, a February 2017 study reveals that there may actually be an ideal time to schedule your initial arthroplasty procedure. And surprisingly, researchers found that younger hip replacement surgery patients have a harder time recovering than their older counterparts do.
Study Finds Significantly Higher Risks for Younger Arthroplasty Patients
When reviewing potential study candidates, researchers found that many patients struggled with deciding when to schedule their initial arthroplasty procedure. The population-based cohort study launched in 1991 and followed 63,158 THR patients for up to 20 years after initial implantation. Researchers discovered that timing based on the arthroplasty patient’s age at initial joint replacement matters most for predicting successful outcomes. “This is of particular importance in determining optimum timing for surgery in younger patients, where they can be expected to potentially outlive their primary replacement,” researchers concluded.
When observing patient outcomes post-recovery, researchers found that younger arthroplasty candidates didn’t always fare better — especially men in their 50s. In fact, patients who were younger than 60 at the time of their primary surgery had the highest revision rates. Men undergoing an initial arthroplasty procedure in their early 50s had the highest lifetime revision surgery risk (up to 35%). Women in that same age group, however, saw a 20% increase in revision surgery risk. The average time from initial arthroplasty to revision surgery for THR patients under 60 jumps from 6.5 to 4.4 years.
Hip Replacement Surgery Outcomes Dramatically Improve After 70
Initial arthroplasty patients aged 70 and older had the lowest overall revision surgery risks and complication rates, regardless of gender. For that age group, revision surgery risks remained quite low, hovering between 1% and 6%. In fact, 95.6% of male as well as female patients over 70 will retain their first hip replacement prosthesis. Looking at these results, it’s clear that the ideal time to schedule your first arthroplasty is after your 70th birthday. But if you can’t wait that long, patients aged 64-69 still have better outcomes than those in the younger cohort.
Researchers believe that’s because the longer you live with an artificial hip joint, the more risky it is to intervene. “Patients who are considering undergoing joint replacement should balance the potential benefits of an improvement in their quality of life against the potential risks of the intervention: death, medical complications, infection, poor functional outcome, and the need for revision surgery,” the study concludes.
In plain English, most people with an artificial hip joint will need to surgically replace it years or decades later. This study shows that 1 in 3 men aged 50-55 will need surgery to replace their implant within 5 years. And 1 in 5 women aged 50-55 will need surgery to replace their original artificial hip implant within 5 years. Both women and men over 70 had similar implant replacement risks that occurred around 6.5 years after their initial surgery. So if you’re trying to decide when to get your hip replaced, how many surgeries are you willing to have? Get your artificial hip in your early 50s, and you may need surgery to replace that prosthesis 5-6 more times. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to keep that first artificial hip implant for life!
How to Get Justice and Compensation for Faulty Hip Replacement Injuries
Stryker manufactures several different modular hip replacement components for arthroplasty patients using a proprietary titanium alloy. However, Stryker also voluntarily recalled multiple hip replacement systems over the last decade due to high complication and implant failure rates. Plaintiffs allege that these defective hip implants can cause extreme pain, bone loss and metallosis, among other debilitating symptoms. Reviewing all implant types and materials with your surgeon before your THR is crucial for reducing complication and revision risks.
And while every THR patient faces some revision surgery risk, Stryker implants typically fail within three years after initial placement. In fact, Stryker’s metal-on-metal designs can wear down and shed invisible debris into your over time. If you suffered pain, swelling, infection or pseudotumors around your incision and required revision surgery, you may qualify for compensation. To see within minutes if you may qualify for a cash settlement, complete your free hip replacement claim evaluation now. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced lawyer will contact you to discuss your case and review possible compensation options.
Related: 5 Hip Replacement Complications That Usually Lead to More Surgeries
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.