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Specialists seeing younger patients needing hip replacement surgery

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Hip replacements aren’t just for senior citizens anymore.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the average age of patients is getting younger all the time.

People like 34-year-old Adam Friedman, who by all appearances is in great shape and always been active.

“Growing up as a young boy there was baseball, football, basketball and picked up skiing a little later in life so anything outdoors,” Friedman said.

Everything came to a halt when he started suffering debilitating hip pain shortly after his 30th birthday and was told he needed a total hip replacement.

“I actually went for a second opinion because it’s very hard for somebody in their 30′s to hear that. You figure the doctor got it wrong,” he said.

Dr. Bruce Janke, an orthopedic surgeon with Broward Health North said wear-and-tear of the hip joint typically happens over years, but the latest data shows that the number of hip replacements for young patients more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, and there are a number of potential reasons why.

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“Maybe there’s a genetic predisposition, mom and dad have it and they got it; some might have trauma, a fall that injured the hip and led to post-traumatic arthritis or maybe a congenital problem where the hip just didn’t form properly from birth,” Janke said.

Years ago, younger patients were told to hold off on hip replacement surgery until their 50′s and because because even the replacement joints wear out over time.

Now, with improvements in design, hip replacement joints can last 15 to 20 years or longer before a revision is necessary.

“If most of the parts look good you could just replace the ball or the liner of the hip,” Janke said.

After surgery in July 2020, Friedman quickly rebounded, gaining strength and mobility.

“I’m able to play tennis, do yoga, go biking. You’ll never feel 18 again, but I feel pretty good,” Friedman said.

The volume of joint replacements, including hips and knees, is expected to grow by more than 170% in the next decade.


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