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December 2017

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In and out: Hip surgery in the morning, home by night

Americans are wearing out their joints and requiring total hip replacement surgery at increasingly younger ages — some as early as 40.

Total hip replacement, a surgical procedure in which the head of the femur and its socket are replaced, is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. Over 340,000 people get a “new hip” each year to treat chronic pain and mobility issues caused by age-related wear and tear, arthritis, fractures, and other conditions.

Traditionally, patients face a lengthy and sometimes difficult recovery — an average of four days in the hospital, with follow-up care in a rehabilitation center

New York pediatrician Julie Luttinger, 55, dreaded a second hip replacement — her first was twelve years prior and she had to miss six weeks of work.

“I live in the city. I walk to work every day and I walk my son to school. I couldn’t do that anymore,” Julie said. “To make matters worse, I felt guilty about abandoning my colleagues again.”

Fortunately, a new nontraditional approach pioneered by Dr. Roy Davidovitch, orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health, is promising patients a quicker short-term recovery time. Many patients even leave the same day.