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Product Alert 7

Industry Focus Area:  Orthopaedic Implants To: David Ph.D.

From: Joe Student – Product Manager Harris/Galante Hip System

Subject:  Orthopaedic Surgeons Rethinking Age Ranges for Total Hip Replacement

Article Summary:

Orthopaedic surgeons are rethinking traditional wisdom about who is and who isn’t a good candidate for total hip replacement surgery (THR), a procedure that replaces the bones of the hip with an artificial joint.

Once reserved primarily for patients over the age of 60, the surgery offers a more desirable option for younger patients with disabling arthritis than previously believed, John J. Callaghan, MD, reported at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Only 5-10% of the 150,000-200,000 total hip replacements performed each year are in patients under the age of 50. That could change, said Callaghan, professor and Lawrence and Marilyn Door Chair of the department of

orthopaedics at the University of Iowa. Anyone under 60 with severe arthritis can be a candidate for THR if he or she is willing to make some lifestyle changes.

That means making lifestyle changes, including a shift to more moderate activity – hiking, biking and doubles tennis rather than jogging and high-impact aerobics.

According to the results of a University of Iowa study of 70 patients presented by Callaghan at the AAOS meeting, the prostheses of 65% of patients who underwent THR before the age of 50, remained intact 25 years later.

Recommendation for Action:

If the average age for THR continues to decline, firms in our industry may have to take another look at promotional materials used in pull marketing. Currently these advertisements feature elderly patients in rather sedate settings. We might be wise to revamp materials to also include patients in younger age groups.

I own 107 shares of ZMH.  The current value is     $      10,091

Source: Orthopaedics Today (2014).  New Age Ranges for Hip Replacement.  March 13 2014 pp 17-21.

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