Saving Young Hips


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — When you think about someone with hip pain, you might picture an older person. But more and more young people are experiencing hip problems and even needing hip replacement surgery.

Running, jumping, walking, and sitting. You use your hips every day to move.

But researchers say hip problems are on the rise, especially in young people. Some of the more common conditions include hip arthritis, labral tears, hip dysplasia, and something called FAI. These issues have led to more hip replacement surgeries. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the number of hip replacements in people ages 45 to 54 jumped 205-percent! But there’s a problem: the replacement doesn’t last forever.

Joel Williams, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush said “Hip replacements last roughly 20 years, and if it’s done too early, at multiple points throughout the patient’s life, they’re going to need revisions.”

That’s why doctors are trying new techniques, known as hip preservation surgeries, to try to delay the need for a hip replacement. They say receiving treatment as early as possible, before arthritis shows up, is important for a successful outcome. So if you suffer from hip pain, see your doctor right away. It could get you back in the game sooner.

Experts believe part of the reason for the increase in hip injuries is that more people are active and many participate in extreme sports at a young age. Hip replacement surgery is also on the rise in older people. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of patients 75 and older treated with hip replacements rose 92 percent.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT #2459

BACKGROUND: Hip specialists are reporting a significant increase in young patients experiencing hip pain. Running, falling, heavy impact and overuse are all factors to hip injury when it comes to athletes and active people. Injuries can result in hip strains, labral tears and in some cases, a condition called femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). The cause for joint pain in young individuals is not fully understood. Multiple factors like genes, obesity, lifestyle, food habits, injury, and joint biomechanics play an important role. Dr. Kaushal Malhan, a well-known knee and hip surgeon from Fortis Hospital Mulund, says, “Changing food habits, pollution and a more sedentary lifestyle are the major reasons that contribute to joint problems. There is evidence that due to these reasons osteoarthritis is common in urban areas as against rural areas.” Joint pain can be prevented if proper care is taken in earlier years.

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HIP INJURY DIAGNOSIS: Younger patients with hip symptoms often have a hip deformity or hip joint disorder that isn’t easily recognized. As a result, patients may not get a definite diagnosis and may go for an extended period of time without treatment. Most hip conditions will cause limitation of activity and can lead to the development of early arthritis. This is why early diagnosis and intervention is extremely important to minimize symptoms and prevent premature onset of hip joint deterioration. Osteoarthritis, for example, is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the joint, ultimately leading to the need for a hip joint replacement procedure. Advances in technology are leading to earlier detection of hip problems. At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, orthopedic specialists perform a thorough patient evaluation to obtain an accurate diagnosis of symptoms and formulate a treatment plan.


LOOKING AHEAD: Surgeons are opting for alternative procedures to preserve hip joints in younger patients. A technique called the Bernese periacetabular osteotomy (PAO), involves cutting the bones around the hip socket and repositioning them. This can be a good choice for young patients with hip dysplasia or instability of the hip. Another technique is hip impingement, which involves abnormal contact or abutment between the socket and femur. “Hip preservation procedures tend to have a little bit longer recovery period than joint replacements,” John Clohisy, orthopedic surgeon and director of the Center for Adolescent and Young Hip Disorders in St. Louis says, “…probably a difference of one to two months as the bone heals.” However, hip preservation offers significant advantages. A healthy hip joint can be preserved resulting in the less likelihood of becoming dislocated or infected later in life, which are the potential complications with total hip replacement.


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Lisa Stafford