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Jump in newer hip replacement ops

03 March 2016 08:10

An X-ray of a hip replacement

An X-ray of a hip replacement

There has been a massive increase in the number of hip replacement procedures among the under-60s over the past decade, according to official new statistics.

The NHS figure for England jumped from 10,145 in 2004/05 to 17,883 across 2014/15 - a climb of 76%, the BBC reports.

Physicians claim this is partially due to medics feeling more confident that new artificial hips will last longer than they did before.

Patients are also reportedly more impatient at having to wait until they reach 60, claims the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).

The number of new artificial hips fitted over this 10-year timespan has risen by 35.8% across the age range to 122,154 during the last financial year from 89,919 in 2004/05.

The majority of hip surgical procedures are carried out if an injury or arthritis harms the joint.

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Expert view

RCS vice-president Stephen Cannon says hip replacement surgery has risen exponentially in line with improved prosthetics and procedures available.

Whereas before people and physicians would view the operation as some kind of last resort, it is now more and more commonplace, regardless of age, he says.

Surgeons previously advised hip pain patients to leave surgery until they reached between 60 and 65. This is because the artificial hips only had a 15-year shelf life then.

Mr Cannon says that patients are also not prepared to wait years before they can comfortably play tennis or golf pain-free again.

He also points to the heightened convenience of such operations. He says patients can discard their crutches after only six weeks and can be on their own two feet on the day of the operation, crutch-assisted.

Mr Cannon fears that Britain's ageing population's "perfect storm" could see hip operations outpace supply by 2026 if the current trend continues.