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Hip Replacement in Younger Patients Returns Them to Active Lifestyle

Hip replacement isn’t just for the older folks anymore. As hip replacement and hip resurfacing surgery advances, younger and more active patients are having these procedures. The good news is that researchers, led by Washington University specialists at Barnes- Jewish Hospital, have found that most patients return to work, to a normal sex life and to other activities after hip replacement surgery.

Originally, hip replacement surgery was performed on older, sedentary patients who didn’t make many demands on their new hip.

Due to the overwhelming success and longevity of hip replacement, surgery patients are now younger and more active. However, until recently, doctors weren’t sure of the recovery track younger patients would have related to returning to work or other potential limitations after hip replacement.

So Ryan Nunley, MD, a Washington University orthopedic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, conducted a study to find out. Nunley’s team followed more than 900 patients who had either hip replacement surgery or hip resurfacing at Barnes-Jewish and five other centers around the country.

The results were encouraging. The research team found 94 percent of patients returned to their job without any restrictions, even among those who did heavy manual labor.

“After surgery, most people can go back to a sedentary job in six to eight weeks and to manual labor in eight to 12 weeks,” Nunley says.

Nunley’s team also found that 90 percent resume sexual activity after surgery and many report more frequent, better sex. Among those undergoing hip resurfacing, most can return to high-impact exercise—such as running, contact sports or martial arts—at six months.

For more information, call 314-514-3500.

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