Hip replacement (arthroplasty or joint replacement), is a surgical procedure in which the diseased parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with new, artificial parts. The goals of hip replacement are threefold:
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hip joint damage leading to pain and limits on daily activities. However, other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, injury, fracture, and bone tumors also may lead to breakdown of the hip joint and the need for hip replacement surgery.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. This number has increased substantially since 2000 when the CDC reported just under 139,000 hip replacements performed among inpatients aged 45 and over.
Hip replacement has become more common in younger people, according to government statistics. As more people engage in activities, more wear and tear is being placed on joints, leading to more surgeries.
Recovery time from hip replacement procedures has also improved. The average hospital stay for total hip replacement patients has been reduced substantially over the past decade. Improvements in device development, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, pain management and better control of blood loss during surgery have all led to improved recovery time and better patient outcomes.
With the growing population of baby boomers and increased commitment to physical activity among younger segments of the population, the need for total and partial hip replacements will no doubt continue to grow.
That’s why researchers are continually working on device improvements, development of new surgical techniques and gaining a better understanding of the body’s response to the artificial joint components. Rest assured that the future of hip replacement surgery is in good hands.
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