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Old 01-21-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
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Arrow Am I too young for a hip replacement?

I am 21 years old and i need a hip replacement bad. I'm to the point where I cant walk without crutches. how do i get my doctor to let me have the operation? what are some reasons i shouldnt have this surgery now?

 
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

You are definitely young for a hip replacement but I would not be so presumptuous as to use the phrase "too young". If you need the hip fixed so you can get a life, then you need it, regardless of age. You don't give us much detail about your hip and why it needs replacing so the most helpful advice I can give you at this point is that you might 1)consider a second opinion; and 2)read up on the topic of hip resurfacing, an alternative surgical procedure. A resurfacing device has recently been approved by FDA although resurfacing surgeries have been performed in Europe for several years. It's potential benefit for you: possibly getting you back on your feet again while postponing the inevitable full hip replacement in which the head of the femur (your thigh bone) is cut off.

 
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

I have avascular necrosis due to a longtime use of prednisone. My doctors told me I will eventually have to get a thr. no way around it. the problem is he wants me to wait. i on the other hand feel i need it now to be able to live. i want to go to college and live my life. i hate being so limited. i hardly leave home because the pain is so bad when i walk. i just don't know what to do. do i have to listen to him say wait or can i just tell him thats what i want and he has to do it for me now?

 
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:24 AM   #4
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

I don't believe resurfacing is even a possibility with AVN. For successful resurfacing, there needs to be good bone in the femoral head. Has your surgeon indicated how long you can expect to wait? Have you considered getting a second opinion? I encountered an 18-yr-old girl on another forum who received a THR so I know that it's possible to get one if you find a surgeon who will do it. Can't recall the reason for hers but in young people it's usually either because of a congenital hip deformity, an accident, or AVN.

In the meantime, I hope you have adequate pain meds and are using whatever kinds of mobility aids that will permit you to have as full a life as possible. This includes crutches, a wheelchair, whatever it takes to get you around as comfortably as possible.

And, again, I urge you to get a second (or even a third) opinion. But you need to also accept the reality that getting your hip replaced today, even with the highly durable ceramic or metal bearings, almost guarantees that you will need more than one revision in your lifetime. And revisions are not always as successful as primary hip replacements and they have higher complication rates. And young people are more apt to beat up their new hips (and need revision surgery sooner) because they are more active than the usual THR patients (like me) who are much older and much less active. This is probably your surgeon's line of reasoning. If you can believe this: I was told by my primary care doctor that I was too young for hip replacement -- and I was 56 years old! This point of view is not unusual among some physicians and it has been a standard line of thinking for a long time. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. There are new materials used in the hip prosthesis that are fairly new and may last longer than the old metal/poly bearings. I hope you can find a surgeon who will consider these and give you a chance to get the THR.

 
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Denise

You are young to have a hip operation, but by no means too young. The effect on your life at the moment is so great that you need surgery as soon as possible. The attitude of your doctor, that THR is the only way to go, and that an operation should be delayed as long as possible, is completely out of date.

It is true that conventional THRs, with a small metal head fitting into a polyethelene cup, do fail very quickly in younger active patients. This has been found to be because tiny bits of polyethelene wear off the cup and cause a reaction in the body which erodes away the nearby bone - thus loosening the cup or stem to the point where it fails, and a "revision" operation is needed. A revised hip is not as stable as the previous one, so the tendency (by doctors) was to try to delay the initial operation as long as possible, to mimimise the number of revisions that would be needed in a lifetime.

The unsuitability of conventional THRs for younger more active patients was one factor leading to the development of resurfacing in the early 1990s. Resurfacing uses metal on metal, so there is no polyethelene to wear away and create problems, and if a resurfaced hip fails, then the revision operation is to a PRIMARY THR. That is, a person who has a resurfaced hip (no pain and NORMAL functionality) delays their first THR until (if) the resurfaced hip fails.

AVN by itself does NOT preclude resurfacing. You would have heard of Floyd Landis, who came first in the Tour de France last year with a bad hip. His problem was AVN (bad) and he has subsequently had his hip resurfaced and is back in training!

Now sometimes AVN has progressed to the stage where resurfacing is not possible. If so then there are now THRs which do not use polyethelene, and thus should have a greater chance of lasting. If this was your case then you should be looking for a large ball metal on metal THR (large ball to mimimise the chance of dislocation - which is a problem with traditional small ball THRs).

You have your whole life before you, and you need to do something NOW. Do not procrastinate, as femoral balls can deteriorate so that resurfacing that could be done now, might not be a possibility some time later.

There are experienced resurfacing surgeons who have done hundreds of resurfacings on AVN hips. You need to get their opinion. Do NOT rely on the opinion of doctors or surgeons who do not do resurfacing. Look at [url]www.surfacehippy.info/avn.php[/url]

I can only hope that you are a candidate for resurfacing, but even if you are not, then get a large ball metal on metal THR asap. Your life is too precious to be constrained and in the pain that you are!

By the way, I had both hips resurfaced in Dec 05 in the one operation (at age 54). My surgeon sees no reason why they will not last me the rest of my life. I hope he is right!

Regards

Ross

Last edited by rp_aust; 01-26-2007 at 06:52 AM.

 
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Jamira,

How long after you started having symptoms of AVN did it take full effect and you were no longer able to walk without pain?

 
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #7
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Denise,
When I had my left hip osteotomy done to prolong my inevitable total hip replacement I was 30 years old. I shared a room with a 18 year old girl who suffered from the effects of the prolonged use of cortisone to treat her Lupus and needed her second hip replacement. She had done amazingly well with the first hip replacement and was recuperating well with the second one. I was told from a very young age that I would need a THR at some point in my lfe....probably at the age of 60-65. I have had my operation on 09/19/2005 and I could not be happier. I had several doctors over the years tell me I was "too young" but after searching I came upon a doctor who said that if the pain was interferring with my life and how I wanted to live...I should just go ahead and have it done! It is the best decision I have ever made. I am 47 years young! Good luck with your decision. Mary

 
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

I'm 57 and I had a hip resurfacing operation just over 2 weeks ago here in the UK. All went OK, was in hospital for 5 days and I see my surgeon again in 4 weeks as an outpatient. I'm on crutches for at least 6 weeks and will be off work for at least 8 weeks and probably 10-12 weeks.

Hip resurfacing is generally carried out on younger more active people as it is considered to be a stronger option than THR though THR can still be done on the same joint at a later date if needed.

 
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

You're not alone. My 22 year old daughter is having severe pain due to AVN in her hip. She had Legg Perthes disease in both hips as a child and has already had 2 arthroscopic surgeries on her right hip. The first brought some relief for awhile, but the second was a waste. It was just last June and she is already barely able to walk now. She is using a cane and on meds for the pain. We weren't able to get her in with her Dr. until the end of March, and we're hoping he'll tell us she needs a replacement. Her quality of life right now is horrible. She can't sleep at night and is in pain all day long. She is in her last year of college and hopes desperately to get a replacement before starting grad school.

 
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Hi Jamira, I thought I was too young at 54 to have THR. I had it Nov. 16th 2006. No pain is the best. My doctor told me for two years " you will know when it is time" I did. The pain was excruciating, I was taking a bucket load of meds, it was time. Quality of life is what is is all about. Have a second opinion. Yes you are young, but if your daly life is resrtcted by pain and immobility do it.

 
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:41 PM   #11
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Exclamation Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamiraDenise View Post
I am 21 years old and i need a hip replacement bad. I'm to the point where I cant walk without crutches. how do i get my doctor to let me have the operation? what are some reasons i shouldnt have this surgery now?
My daughter is only 22 and had Legg Perthes as a child which damaged both hips, but especially the left. We have had 2 arthroscopic surgeries on it, cortizone shots, physical therapy, medicines, yoga, and she's now on a cane. She scheduled a total hip surgery for May10th at her Dr.'s visit yesterday. Her quality of life is horrible,and she was becoming afraid that she would fall down stairs, etc. She is also in terrible pain and can hardly sleep at night. We have tried every option available, so the replacement is our next and last step. Have you had other surgeries on the hip? Replacements only last around 10 years so they have to be redone eventually.

 
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:06 PM   #12
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Hips today last up to and beyond 20 years. The ones lasting only about 10 - 15 are a result of using a plastic liner. Today most all doctors use a metal liner instead which gives a longer life to the THR.

My previous hip lasted 13 years and was only replaced because the liner was failing and the small fragments of plastic were getting between the joint and causing severe pain.

If you take care of yourself, don't do extreme sports or exercise and keep your weight down a hip will last for a good amount of time.

The reason to not have the surgery is because you will need another replacement in 15-20 years. If you are lucky only the liner will fail and that is simple to replace but if something happens to the stem and it needs replaced you will loose bone, as is the same with the cup.

Statistically speaking, based on current projected length will last and your age you could theroetically end up having to have your hip replaced at least 3 times before you pass on.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:57 PM   #13
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Thanks for your response Kissa. I hate to hear that she my have to have this done so many times, but I'm also hoping that maybe in the future they'll come up with some new techniques that will last longer. Her surgeon is using a titanium on titanium and is making the ball slightly larger due to her age. He sais he uses this on younger patients because they tend to wear them down more. He also mentioned that one of her legs may end up slightly shorter than the other and she may have to wear a small lift in her shoe. No gurantees either way, but he always warns patients first. Have you heard of this and is it common? I also worry about blood clots after the surgery. He says her age is for her in that area, but you know how mothers worry. I'm just a nervous wreck over this and really don't know what to expect immediately afterward.

 
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:46 AM   #14
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

Hi,
Have you talked to your Dr. about a ceramic on ceramic hip? Mine are both ceramic and Drs don't know how long they will last but they are much better than the polyethelene/metal. My Dr. said you can look me up in "the home" and tell me how long it lasted--in other words he thinks they will hold up a long long time.

You can tell by my screen name, that I did have a leg length problem, but read my posts under "Leg over an inch too long" to get the whole story.
Legtoolong

 
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:40 AM   #15
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Re: Am I to young for a hip replacement?

I am in the excact same boat as u!!! Isnt it awful!! I am 24 needed my left hip replaced since I was 15, but doctors won't give me one till 30. I also have no life because of pain, stay home all the time want to go to college but yeah right I couldnt live a day! If u ever want to talk let me know!! I feel for ya

 
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