Americans are wearing out their joints and requiring total hip replacement surgery at increasingly younger ages — some as early as 40.
Total hip replacement, a surgical procedure in which the head of the femur and its socket are replaced, is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. Over 340,000 people get a “new hip” each year to treat chronic pain and mobility issues caused by age-related wear and tear, arthritis, fractures, and other conditions.
Traditionally, patients face a lengthy and sometimes difficult recovery — an average of four days in the hospital, with follow-up care in a rehabilitation center.
New York pediatrician Julie Luttinger, 55, dreaded a second hip replacement — her first was twelve years prior and she had to miss six weeks of work.
“I live in the city. I walk to work every day and I walk my son to school. I couldn’t do that anymore,” Julie said. “To make matters worse, I felt guilty about abandoning my colleagues again.”
Fortunately, a new nontraditional approach pioneered by Dr. Roy Davidovitch, orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health, is promising patients a quicker short-term recovery time. Many patients even leave the same day.
“Younger, active patients tend to be in the work force and a lot of them own their own businesses. They want to get back to work,” said Davidovitch. “With this approach they can come in the morning, have the operation, and be done sometime before noon. They go home sometime around 5, 6 o’clock in the afternoon.”
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