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Hip replacement surgery once was associated with elderly folks hobbled by painful movement. Today, thanks to new materials and surgical techniques, younger people are opting for hip replacement surgery to regain pain-free movement.

At Utah Orthopedics, Dr. Thomas Calton specializes in hip replacement surgery for patients of any age. Here’s what you need to know about this surgery that can get you moving again, this time without pain.

What is a hip replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is an operation where a surgeon replaces a painful hip joint with an artificial joint made of plastic and metal materials. Hip replacement surgery usually isn’t the first treatment for a painful hip. But if other treatments don’t provide relief, hip replacement surgery may be the only way to alleviate pain and regain full movement.

It’s not your grandparents’ hip replacement

Painful hips can be the result of trauma, arthritis, or other diseases that damage hips beyond repair.

In the past, hip replacement surgery was performed using an open technique that necessitated a long recovery time. Today, joint replacement surgery can be performed with minimally invasive surgical techniques that translate into shorter recovery, only a brief hospital stay, and minimal collateral tissue damage.

Also, we’ve learned that getting out of bed and moving early and often is the best way to recover from joint replacement surgery. By using your new joint as soon as possible, your body heals and gets used to its new parts faster. Most patients graduate from using assistive devices within 2-3 weeks after surgery.

Better artificial hips

One reason younger patients didn’t opt for hip replacements is that the materials once used wore out before they did. That meant a second surgery down the road.

Today, new materials can last 20 years or longer. A study presented at an American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons found that hip replacements in adults younger than 50 are still performing well after 35 years.

Of course, younger people tax their new hips more than elderly patients. But many people feel that decades of pain-free movement is worth a second surgery if it’s someday needed.

Are you too young?

You may be. Sometimes, hip replacement surgery is not the best solution for your problem, and nonsurgical options are better for the time being.

The best way to know if hip replacement surgery is right for you, no matter your age, is to talk with Dr. Calton. To schedule a consultation at our office in Ogden, Utah, call (801) 758-0206.

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