Joint replacement surgery of any kind is a serious matter to consider. Although joint surgeries, such as hip surgery, can significantly improve mobility and quality of life, one should not take the surgery and recovery time lightly. Still, a better life is often well worth the effort. So, when is the right time to see a hip surgeon?
When to See a Hip Surgeon
When the discomfort in the joints restricts a person's lifestyle, surgery can be considered, but surgery is not usually the first course of action. When there is discomfort in the joints, the patient is evaluated and the source of the pain pinpointed. Once identified, a plan to resolve the pain can be developed. When all non-surgical methods have been tried and proven unsuccessful, surgery becomes the only option. One might think that younger is better since healing is quicker, and the person will have longer to enjoy the improved quality of life, but age is only one factor to consider.
Is Earlier Better?
Generally, most hip replacement surgeries occur between the ages of 50 and 80. It's easy to conclude that it's best to get hip surgery as early as possible, but that's not always the right decision. Of course, if the replacement surgery is due to a traumatic injury or deformity, then there is no choice to wait. Even young people can have issues like this, but artificial joints have a lifespan. If a joint replacement is done early in life, the surgery may have to be repeated later. The first replacement surgery has the best result.
Age is relative. We all know people who seem much younger than their age. In general, there is no right age to have hip replacement surgery. What matters is the patient's health and fitness before the surgery. These factors will determine their ability to recover from the surgery and enjoy its benefits. For example, an out-of-shape, overweight, sedentary 50-year-old may not qualify for surgery, but a fit, active 80-year-old may.
Usually, older people need to see a hip surgeon due to a lifetime of wear and tear on their joints. The older a person is, the more likelihood of surgical complications, but going through one surgery is better than going through two. This paradox makes the decision a delicate balance.
The final decision is up to the patient and the hip surgeon. When all factors are considered, both the patient and surgeon have to feel comfortable with the surgery.
Have you been struggling with hip pain and searching for a solution? Are you ready to be evaluated by a hip surgeon? Contact Dr. Dan Albright for an evaluation. A thorough examination will determine if surgery is the right path for you—Call 919-863-6808 to make an appointment today.