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GMA Co-Anchor Talks Getting Hip Replacement at 47

Many people think of getting a total hip replacement operation as something that for the most part, only elderly people have to worry about.  While it is true that some younger people break one or both hips in a catastrophic accident, in years past, it is true that most patients in the United States getting a total hip replacement operation were generally older people.

untitled-1019029-mHowever, as discussed in a recent news feature from Page Six, Lara Spencer, who is a co-anchor on ABC’s flagship morning program “Good Morning America,” needed a hip replacement at the relatively young age of 47 and decided to talk about her medical issues with the audience. She first told the audience, when she first was told she needed to have the operation, she chose not to do anything or tell anyone.  The reason was that she believed this was an “old person’s problem,” and she couldn’t believe it was happening to her. 

She had always led an active lifestyle and was a competitive diver at Penn State University while she was a student.  She went on to say that she has always loved sports and being an active person in general.  As for the reason for her hip problems, her doctors performed tests and took a family history and determined she suffered from a genetic condition.  This genetic condition caused her to have a predisposition to a hip problem known as dysplasia.  Dysplasia, also known as congenital dysplasia of the hip (CDH), is characterized by a developmental deformation in the hip joint. It causes the joint to be misaligned. If the joint is misaligned, it can cause severe chronic pain, difficulty walking, and the need for corrective devices.  Babies who are diagnosed with hip dysplasia will typically be given a Bock harness, a Pavlik harness, or a Frejka pillow to wear.  All three of these devices are designed to correct the hip joint while it is forming.

At first, Spencer said she was embarrassed by having hip dysplasia and the need for an artificial hip implant, but then she realized there was nothing to be embarrassed about.  While most patients who undergo a total hip replacement are older Americans, the number of younger patients is increasing, and just this past year, about 10 percent of all hip replacement patients were under the age of 50.  While 10 percent might not seem like a lot, it is a tremendous increase from the numbers just a decade ago.

The reality is that if young people with hip problems want to stop being in pain all the time and get back to having a normal range of motion, a total hip replacement may be the only option, and in the vast majority of cases, the operation is performed successfully, and the patient is happy.  However, as you can discuss with an experienced defective hip injury lawyer in Boston, the chances of having successful outcome are seriously reduced if your artificial hip was defectively designed.

Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Lara Spencer getting hip-replacement surgery at 47, August 11, 2016, Page Six, By Derrick Bryson Taylor

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