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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My brother is only 46, but his doctor is telling him that he should think about having a hip replacement. Isn't he kind of young for that?

Hip replacements are associated with older people, most of the time. It only stands to reason because their hips are wearing out because of osteoarthritis, injury, or other reasons. However, some younger people also have osteoarthritis or a problem that causes their hips to degenerate faster than they should.

While in most types of surgeries, being young would be an advantage, when it comes to weigh-bearing joint replacements, it actually works against you. Artificial joints have a limited life span and when they are placed in people who are in their 60s, 70s, and older, doctors believe that the chance of outliving the replacements is smaller than the other way around. But, if you are only 46 when you need a replacement, doctors are looking at replacing it again when you are in your 60s. While it may seem that if a patient needs a hip or a knee replacement, he or she should get it, the doctors have to weigh other issues as well, such as the seriousness and risk of such surgeries.

Newer treatments are being tried for younger patients. One such treatment doesn't replace the whole hip but just a part of it. This procedure, called metal-on-metal resurfacing, is showing good results so far.


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