Dr. Nikhil Pandhi
At North Point ORthopaedics

What's the Best Age for a Hip Replacement?

Jan 10, 2023
What's the Best Age for a Hip Replacement?
Hip pain can quickly become a serious problem that requires surgery, but if you think you’re too young (or too old) to be a candidate, you might count yourself out. Here’s the truth about who’s a candidate for hip replacement surgery.

Maybe you’re 50 years old and your hip is killing you, but hip replacement surgery sounds like an older person's problem. Or maybe you’re closer to 80 and wondering if you’ve missed your chance to get that bum hip replaced.

The good news is that hip replacement surgery may be more versatile than you think. 

Here, Dr. Nikhil Pandhi, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, takes a closer look at hip replacement surgery and who’s the ideal candidate. 

Your hips: the good, the bad, and the achy

Few places in your body take on as much stress as your hips. They are some of your largest and most flexible joints, providing you with support, effortless mobility, and range of motion — that is until something goes wrong. 

The immense work your hips do day in and out can leave you with:

  • Fractures
  • Post-traumatic arthritis (arthritis that stems from a previous injury)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bone tumors

Each of these problems — especially arthritis — leads to inflammation in your hips. The result? Limited mobility, pain, and an overall decreased quality of life. What’s worse is that conditions like arthritis that are degenerative are incurable. 

Deciding on surgery

Many hip problems are progressive and get much worse with age, which is why most hip replacement candidates are over the age of 60, but in general, most surgeries occur between the ages of 50 and 80. 

We tend not to recommend hip replacement surgery to our younger patients, particularly if you’re active. The replacement parts can wear down quickly if you keep up your active lifestyle, which could mean a second surgery later on. 

The bottom line is that there’s no perfect age for hip surgery. Each of our patients has unique considerations and circumstances. Whether you’re a sedentary 80-year-old or an active 40-year-old, you can consider hip replacement surgery if your pain impacts your life significantly. 

To help you decide if hip replacement surgery is right for you, we conduct a thorough review of your symptoms and complete a physical exam. If necessary, we may order X-rays or an MRI to better understand what’s causing your hip pain. 

What to expect

Depending on your needs, we typically recommend one of the two following hip replacement approaches. 

Traditional hip replacement

Traditional hip replacement is an open surgery that involves removing injured and diseased parts of your hip and replacing them with an artificial joint.

Robotic-assisted anterior hip replacement

This minimally invasive technique is an option regardless of your age. With a robotic-assisted anterior hip replacement, we make smaller incisions and use a special camera and instruments that allow us to perform the surgery with less tissue damage. We perform this type of hip replacement on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day as your procedure. Bonus: Minimally invasive techniques equate to less recovery time and fewer risks.

Today’s modern materials offer a 90% chance that your replacement will last 20 years or longer. One study even found that many hip replacements in adults younger than 50 were still viable after 35 years. 

Curious about your candidacy for hip replacement surgery? Call our friendly staff at 219-301-8597, or use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pandhi today.