Total hip replacement surgery is traditionally a procedure performed on older Americans. Female patients were typically around 5 to 10 years younger than the average male patient, but outside of athletes and accident victims, the surgery was generally performed on patients who were over the age of 50.
According to a recent feature from Costal Point, total hip replacement surgery is now becoming more common for patients both young and old. While many total hip replacement patients are aging baby boomers who still desire to lead an active lifestyle, as opposed to spending their golden years in a nursing home facility, there has been a significant increase in the number of hip implants on younger Americans.
People who are in there 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s are more commonly getting the procedures for sports-related trauma and injuries caused by leading a more active lifestyle than people had in the past. With more people playing recreational sports and running than ever before, there has been a reported uptick in cases of severe osteoarthritis at a much younger age than in the past.
Osteoartritis in the hip, as our Boston hip replacement injury attorneys can explain, is caused by an erosion of cartilage in and around the hip ball and socket joint. The joint is padded with a layer of cartilage, which serves two purposes. It acts a dampener or shock absorber for the ball and socket joint, and it prevents friction from bone on bone contact. When a person walks or moves his or her leg, the ball part of the joint, which is located on the top end of a patient’s femur bone, moves back and forth in the socket.
Over time, the layer of protective cartilage can wear away. Normally this process takes many years, and patients are much older. These days, with more people running marathons, participating in triathlons and doing exercise regiments like Crossfit, this natural erosion is happening much faster than it would with a patient who is less active. The cartilage can also be destroyed in a traumatic injury sustained while participating in an athletic activity or during a fall or car accident. Once this cartilage is gone, the bone-on-bone rubbing will occur. This can result in several problems.
First, there will be pain from the friction and movement alone. There will also be bone erosion, which leads to abnormal shapes and spurs in the ball and socket joint. This leads to a knocking movement, which causes more pain and suffering and can actually cause the joint to move side to side instead of back and forth, which is a painful condition known as hip dysplasia..
It should be noted, there is nothing inherently dangerous about having a total hip replacement, assuming the surgeon does a good job. Most of them do. The problem is when a company has knowingly rushed a product with safety problems to market. These defectively-designed artificial hips have been shown to fail, come loose from the pelvis and femur, and release their materials into a patients tissue, causing damage, infection and a need to have a second or subsequent surgery to replace the artificial hip implant with a non-defective model.
Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Total hip replacements are big for the young and the old , May 15, 2015, Costal Point
More Blog Entries:
More Younger Americans Undergo Total Hip Replacement Surgery Than Ever Before, August 17, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyer Blog