The New Orthopedic Patient: More Hip and Knee Replacements Needed for Younger Generation
The parts that move machines eventually wear out and the same goes for body. As this generation of adults adopts a more active lifestyle the need for hip and knee replacements is arriving earlier.
“We’re seeing patients come in with worn out joints as early as their thirties and forties,” said Dr. Robert Deveney, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Danbury Hospital. “This is a trend we expect to continue as a large segment of the population embraces an active lifestyle.”
Hip and Knee Replacements on the Rise
Currently, about 400,000 hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S. annually. An increase in obesity and arthritis has also contributed to a rise in these procedures.
Studies have found:
- Hip replacements increased 37 percent and knee replacements increased 53 percent in 2004 compared with 2000.
- Hip and knee replacements increased significantly among those aged 45-64.
Police Officer Plagued by Pain
Anthony Recupero of Southbury has worked as a Trumbull police officer for 27 years. His job demands a high level of fitness. However, beginning in his late thirties Recupero began to experience persistent pain in his left hip.
“It got to the point where it was painful to stand for long periods of time,” said Recupero. “I really began to worry about the impact this would have on my job if I didn’t take action.”
In 2001, at the age of 44, Recupero consulted Dr. Deveney. He recommended a total hip replacement.
“The most common type of hip arthritis we see is called osteoarthritis. It’s often referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. Given Anthony’s physically active job it’s not surprising that he would present with this problem,” said Dr. Deveney.
The replacement was successful in soothing Recupero’s pain.
Not in the Clear Yet
A few years after having a total hip replacement on his left side, Recupero’s painful problem surfaced on the right side.
“The pain would come and go throughout the day in different areas. Eventually, arthritis was moving up my back too,” said Recupero.
In March 2009, Recupero returned to Dr. Deveney and had hip resurfacing surgery performed on his right side.
“Hip resurfacing is an alternative to standard hip replacement surgery which preserves bone in the femur,” said Dr. Deveney. “It’s a good option for younger patients such as Anthony because the preserved bone allows for a continued active lifestyle. It also makes it easier to perform any potential revision surgeries in the future.
Back in Action
Within three months of his hip replacement surgery Officer Recupero was back on the job and has since been promoted to sergeant.
“I’m a lot quicker on my feet these days,” said Sgt. Recupero. “I have a demanding job that requires a lot of physical training. Now I’m able to fulfill my duties without constant pain and worry.”
Additionally, he has resumed the other activities he enjoys including hunting, fishing and gardening. His new hips also allow him to keep up with his two sons.
About Danbury Hospital
Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center.
The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.
Danbury Hospital Center for Advanced Orthopedic and Spine Care remains one of the few facilities in the State to offer surgical treatment of spinal deformities including adolescent scoliosis. A team of board-certified orthopedic specialists have adopted proven, minimally invasive procedures for orthopedic surgery, resulting in less pain, faster recovery, and a higher level of accuracy. The Center continues to be a leader in clinical outcomes for joint replacement and surgical procedures of the spine.
For more information, visit our website at http://www.danburyhospital.org.