A Growing Healthcare Trend: Hip Replacements

by | Nov 12, 2018 | Health Featured

In the past, hip replacements were only for seniors. But things have changed. Today, hip replacements are popular procedures that help both the elderly and middle-aged individuals.

Who Benefits from Hip Replacements?

Typically, people who suffer from osteoarthritis stand the most to gain from hip replacements. Without the procedure, people need to use alternative therapies and pain medication to handle the pain. The therapies aren’t always effective, and the pain medication comes with a long list of side effects.

Instead of living with the pain, people can eliminate it. Hip replacements make it easier to move around, and they get rid of the pain. For that reason, doctors are now quick to recommend it.

Growing in Numbers

Between 2000 and 2010, the amount of hip replacement surgeries almost doubled. It jumped from 138,700 to 310,800. Younger individuals were more likely to get the surgery than ever before. Since then, the trend has continued.

In 2017, the American Joint Replacement Registry noted a 101% increase of hip replacement surgeries. The statistic was comparing the amount of surgeries in 2016 to the amount in 2012.

Why the Popularity?

There is no single reason that contributes to the rising number of hip replacements each year. However, there are a few theories. Here are a few reasons that could contribute to the popularity of the surgery:

  1. An Aging Population

People live longer today than they did 50 years ago. As they age, their bodies experience more wear and tear. They need surgeries, like hip replacements, to live comfortably.

  1. An Active Lifestyle

These days, age doesn’t stop people from being active. Unfortunately, staying active does wear on your body’s joints. You might need hip and knee replacements to maintain that active lifestyle.

  1. More Effective Procedure

Over the years, hip replacement surgeries have changed.  New developments in the medical field make the surgery minimally invasive. Additionally, they make the surgery more effective. The implants that they use today mimic the real thing.

A safer and more effective procedure is good news for everyone. When there’s not much risk to a procedure, people are more likely to try it. Why live with pain in your joints when a simple surgery can eliminate that pain?

  1. Less Recovery Time

When it takes weeks to recover from a procedure, people are unlikely to want it. Years ago, hip replacements had long recovery times. You needed to spend at least a week in the hospital before you could go home.

Today, the surgery only requires a short hospital stay. You might only spend three or four days in the hospital.

  1. More Acceptance

No one wants to get old. In the past, getting a hip replacement was a sign of your age. People would put it off to avoid feeling older than they were.

Now, people accept hip replacements more. Younger individuals get the surgery, so there is no stigma attached to it. That acceptance makes it easier for people to go through with the procedure.

  1. Less Pain

Better techniques in hip replacement surgeries mean less pain and discomfort. Even pain management techniques are better. As a result, people are more willing to go through with the surgery.

What Does It Mean for Healthcare?

The healthcare field is always changing. The increase in hip replacement surgeries has had two major impacts on the healthcare field.

First, it means that there is a high demand for joint replacement surgeons. The field is growing, and more surgeons are in the field than ever before.

Secondly, it means that hip replacement techniques are improving at a rapid rate. With so many surgeries to perform, surgeons are perfecting the technique. They are learning what works and what doesn’t work. Over time, the procedure will continue to improve.

This growing healthcare trend is good news for all. People of all ages can rely on hip replacements to ease their pain. Meanwhile, specialists can continue to perfect their techniques.

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