Nuffield Health Cardiff Vale Hospitals reveal that there has been a 70% increase in hip replacements in the under-55s, and knees are not far behind, with replacements in men under 55 increasing by 40% over the past decade.
Figures from not-for-profit healthcare provider Nuffield Health reveal a significant increase in younger patients opting to have painful joints replaced with artificial joints. Figures for the past 12 months show the rate of men under 55 having a hip replacement has increased by 75% compared to 2005, with a two-third (66.7%) increase for women in the same age group, an overall increase of 71.4%.
‘Pain in major joints such as a hip or knee can have a dramatic impact on our lifestyle and increasingly people want to remain active’
A similar trend was revealed for knee replacement with a 40% increase in men and 20% in women under 55 having the surgery in the 11 years to 2015. The Nuffield Health figures show women are more likely than men to undergo a hip (59%) or knee replacement (56%).
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and medical director at the Cardiff Nuffield Health hospitals Mr David Pemberton observes: “We are seeing a societal shift in the baby boomer generation, where people are maintaining very active lifestyles in late-middle age.
“Pain in major joints such as a hip or knee can have a dramatic impact on our lifestyle and increasingly people want to remain active. Today’s new generation hip and knee prostheses are an attractive alternative to chronic joint pain, when all other treatments have been exhausted”.
More than 160,000 hip and knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales every year and a national survey of 38 consultant orthopaedic surgeons -conducted by Nuffield Health has revealed 71% of patients “put off” their surgery for one year or more which could represent as many as 113,000 procedures.
Geraint Evans, a production manager, recently underwent a knee replacement at age 42, illustrating that surgery is the key rather than a barrier to maintaining an active career in your 40s and 50s. Knee patient Mr Evans said: “I knew I would need a new knee eventually and in the meantime Mr Pemberton tried a number of knee procedures, but I was struggling on pain killers and feeling down, so we decided the time was right, as there was no point waiting in pain. Now I can keep working, am cycling 40 miles a week to keep fit and can play with my children, which is so important at my age. It is the best thing that has happened to me – it has really changed my life. I’m now pain free, no pain killers and much happier.”
As part of his rehabilitation, Geraint Evans had the set up of his bike checked by Nuffield Health chartered physiotherapist Adrian Brown.
Nuffield Health Cardiff Vale Hospitals is hosting a free hip and knee replacement information event for local residents at 6.30pm on Wednesday, June 8 at the Vale Hospital. Places can be reserved by phoning 029 2000 6548 or visiting www.nuffieldhealth.com/expertevents