Sports :: Older patients more active in sports than younger patients after less-invasive hip surgery

Patients who engage in sports before hip replacement wonder if they will be able to play sports (or even the same sports) at the same level of activity after their surgery.

Hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA), a less invasive procedure than total hip replacement, has recently gained in popularity especially among younger, active patients.

The technique involves removing only the cartilage surface of the hip and then reshaping the ball and socket, thus preserving the surrounding bony structures of the hip. Sparing the majority of bone is most attractive to young, active patients who are likely to outlive their first replacement, eventually needing a new one.

Researchers at the Joint Center, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland, surveyed 112 patients to determine their sporting activities at an average of two years after undergoing HRA. Twenty-seven women and 85 men (mean age 53 years) completed questionnaires on the types and extent of sports they played before and after surgery. After HRA, the oldest patients (mean age 60 years) participated in more different sports with a higher weekly frequency and longer session length than younger patients (mean age 46 years). These older patients reported that they engaged in the same sports after surgery as before surgery, had less pain, and had a better overall feeling during and after sports. Most patients surveyed returned to sports within six months after HRA, and men and women returned to activity at the same rate.

“The present study reports for the first time on the detailed sports activity and activity extent after hip resurfacing arthroplasty,” the authors write. “Patients treated with HRA have a high activity level and are engaged in many different sport disciplines 2 years after surgery.” Further study is needed to determine if the resurfaced hip will withstand the wear and tear of this high activity level, the authors say.

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