Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Should I Get a Hip Replacement At Such a Young Age??

I found out a few years ago that I have congenital hip dysplasia in both hips. I have always lived with a little pain in my right hip and always walked with a limp. But for the past few weeks I have been experiencing severe pain in my right hip to the point where it is extremely painful to even walk if I walk more than a short distance. And, i'm walking with a major limp if I walk for more than 5 mins. I am a 29 year old female and don't know what to do. Does anyone have any opinions? Is this is just a flare up, or is it going to be like this until I have a thr?!?
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replied June 11th, 2005
It's always better to wait for a hip replacement until you absolutely need it. From what I know, hip replacements are a wonderful thing; but it's better to keep your real hip for as long as you can. Hip replacements - especially in young people - don't last as long as they do in elderly patients, and each time you have to have the original replacement redone, it's never quite as good as the first one. I guess the rule of thumb is: if the pain is so bad you can't put up with it any longer and it's affecting your quality of life to a great degree, then hip replacement would be a good thing.
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replied July 21st, 2005
I Did It At 22
Hi, I just found your question, I hope it is still valid to reply :)
i am a 23 year old female and I had both my hips replaced at the end of 2004. I had had severe pain in both hips for a long time. It was worse at night, causing me to be unable to sleep.I was on very strong pain killers and they still did nothing to help. I had a lot of people saying it was very young to be having it done, but the thing is if it is so bad it runs your life, then why wait.

By the time that I need replacements the technology will be better again, so who knows what will be available. My surgeon was very helpful, he did lots of x-rays etc to work out how bad my hips really were. It turned out they were both extremely worn away at the joint. He said I could wait, and deal with the pain for a few more years while putting my life on hold, but what do you really gain by doing that?

So I have had it done. Iv had arthritis since I was 4 years old and been on pain killers since then. After the operation pain went away I have not had to take a pain killer since. Im not saying it's easy, it's not. The days following the operation is the hardest part to get thru. Plus you really have to dedicate yourself to doing the physio right. But all im saying is don't discount it because of your age.

If you want to know anything else feel free to ask me :)
hope this helps
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replied January 5th, 2013
Hey, i'm 13 and i really wanna catch on quick if i have any hip problems and what my future may hold. I have symptoms of hip clicking and pain sometimes only on my left hip, though they both click, physio helped a bit. I took an x ray and apparantly my one half of both hips were like middle aged people, 'narrow'. Around my ball and socket joint. What will be the disadvantages of having a hip replacement?
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replied January 5th, 2013
Especially eHealthy

You are really at an extremely young age to even be considering a total joint replacement. Though there have been replacements done at your age, they would only be considered after all other treatment options have failed, and the patient is in extremeous. That the patient is basically wheelchair bound and in extreme uncontrollable pain.

Patients with lower extremity total joint replacements must refrain from impact activities such as running, jumping, jogging, and impact dancing. They have to avoid twisting and pivoting activities. So, they are limited in what they can do in terms of physical activity. They have to protect their prosthesis.

Prosthetic implants last about 15 years, give or take, depending upon how well the patient has protected it. Also, many young patients state that they are expecting the implants to become much better in the future, so they are not going to worry about this problem. Just be advised, that total joint implants, though they have changed somewhat over the decades since they were first developed, they have not changed in the amount of time they last. They have changed in the materials they are made out of (stainless steel and chrome cobalt are still used, but now there is also titanium and ceramic). They have changed from a solid implant to modular ones, to make it easier and quicker for the surgeon to do the procedure.

But, even with all of the changes that have been made, the current prostheses do not last any longer than the ones initially placed decades ago by Sir John Charnley. Currently, studies have shown that we cannot expect the current prostheses to last any longer, and they do not see much of any change in the near future.

So, if a total joint is placed in an extremely young patient, that person is looking at three, if not more, revisions. Revision surgery is much more difficult than an initial replacement, becoming more difficult with each one done. Revision surgery also carries much higher rates of risk and complications.

Also, with each revision surgery done, more scar tissue is formed and more bone stock is lost. There will eventually come a time, when no further replacements can be done in a particular patient (depending upon how much bone is lost with each surgery). Once this point is reached, no more replacements can be put in, a Girdlestone procedure is done, and the patient is placed in a wheelchair. A Girdlestone procedure is where the hip joint is made into a flail joint (no longer is there a ball and socket, there is no joint left at all). Thus, there is no joint there to be able to be able to stand on. Thus, the patient will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his/her life. Again, you think that by the time you get to be in your 50’s or 60’s, that there will be advancements in orthopedics, so that this will not occur, hopefully, there will be. But, people over 60 years ago thought the same thing.

So, if you are still able to ambulate without the use of any aids (cane, crutches), there is no orthopedic surgeon that would even consider a total joint as an option for you. You will be maintained on a variety of different treatments which will allow you to manage your discomfort, for as long as possible.

Total joints are being done at younger and younger ages. But, below 40 is still considered a very young for a total joint.

So, you should look into ways of protecting your hip joint, decrease any impact activities, maintain your weight in a proper range, and stay in as good a shape as you can. Make sure you work on balance and agility, as this can protect your joint.

Learn ways to manage your discomfort. There are a multitude of ways to do this. If you have a physical therapist, ask him/her about these. Develop a stable of ways for you to manage your pain, and use medication only as a last resort.

Good luck. Hope you find ways to manage your hip problem.
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replied July 28th, 2005
you are lucky that you made it to the age that you are now. My hips failed at 10 and probably ealier than that. You will eventually have problem even sitting with your legs in front of you. That was the end for me. I finally convinced my parents that I was in extreme pain and the morning of my doctors appointment I slipped very slightly on a wet bathroom floor and that was all she wrote. I had emergency surgery on my 11th birthday and had knowles pins 4 and 2 days later had to have 4 more pins in the other side. I am now experiencing extreme pain some days. I am just glad that I did not take vioxx and celebrex years ago because I could have died. I dont like taking pain killers because you become dependent and it will eventually destroy your life also. Because your mind will never be clear if you know what I mean. As a female stand sexually has been bleak due to positions that you will not be able to get in due to your restriction in your hip. And it becomes painful sometime if you stay in one place. Get it checked out and dont take no for a answer. I have been told that I am still too young but I am 40 and I want some type of a normal painfree existance. You know I think we have a strong will because as you can see we are not alone and endure pain alot.
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replied May 10th, 2006
Experienced User
Check out the posts on slipped capital femoral epiphysis. That's what I have and as far as I can tell everyone that gets this will require a hip replacement at some point in their life!

As to your question, i, personally, would be willing to kill to get a new hip... I don't dream about money or dates or any of the normal dreams! I dream of being flayed out on a doctors table having a new hip put in!!

I'm only 25 and my whole life has been on hold since age 11 when I first got diagnosed...

If I could do it all over again I would not hold in my complaints because of the pain and stand on the doctor's desk screaming until they fixed me while I had great health insurance!

If your life is being affected by the disorder then don't hesitate to get fixed! Just make sure that you check out all the options before hopping to the replacement. The field of fixing hip's is advancing all the time and they might have a less intrusive fix for you issue!

Good luck!
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