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Huge Increase in New Hips & Knees in Under 55s

A 70% increase has occurred in hip replacement surgery in the under 55 age group. Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital also reveals 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 prostheses. 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%.

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 with Nuffield Health in Wolverhampton Mr Sanjiv Chugh 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 keep active. Today’s new generation hip and knee prostheses are an attractive alternative to chronic joint pain, when all other avenues have been exhausted.”

Over 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[3] has revealed 71% of patients ‘put off’ their surgery for one year or more which could represent as many as 113,000 procedures.

Although the research shows the top concern about having the surgery is that it makes patients ‘feel old’, the view is held by just 26% of patients, suggesting attitudes are shifting. Celebrities like Craig Revel Horwood, Heston Blumenthal and recently Eamonn Holmes have gone public about their hip replacements, showing the surgery is the key rather than a barrier to maintaining an active career in your 40s and 50s.

Osteoarthritis, a gradual wearing of the joint which begins in our 40s, is the commonest reason for a hip or knee replacement. Genetics and lifestyle are important factors in the rate of its progression.

The survey found most patients (60.5%) can resume normal daily activities within 8 weeks of surgery and over 9 out of 10 patients experienced meaningful improvements to their health-related quality of life after a hip or knee replacement. The top noted benefits include:

  • Improved general fitness
  • Greater independence
  • Improved mood and general wellbeing
  • Reduced pain
  • Increased life expectancy

Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital in Tettenhall is hosting a free hip and knee replacement information event for local residents at 6.30pm on Thursday 9th June. Reserve a place by phoning 01902 275303 or visiting

Last modified on Friday, 27 May 2016 14:34

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