The fact that hip replacements are on the rise is not surprising. What is surprising is that there is a growing number of hip replacements is among children and younger adults.

Data published by the National Health Service (NHS) in Great Britain has indicated that the primary cause of more children getting hip replacements is obesity.

About Childhood Hip Replacements

Obesity is a serious health crisis affecting a number of nations, including Great Britain and the United States. Recent data released by the NHS indicates obesity causes a number of childhood health defects.

Being overweight invites increases in heart disease and diabetes. It is additionally important to recognize the potential for weight‑related damage on joints and bones.

An estimated 20 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 11 are obese.

Just this last year, obesity in British school children has risen from 9.3 percent to 9.6 percent. Since 2014, ten children, from ages 10 to 19, had a hip replacement due to weight issues, according to the data.

Weight is also causing joint-related issues for young adults. The Express reported data from 2016-17 showing 86 people in their 20s had hip replacements.

Long-Term Hip Replacement Issues

In the past three years, the total number of hip replacements among obese patients in Great Britain has risen by 60 percent. The total number of knee and hip replacements among those classified as obese has spiked from 23,847 in 2014 to 37,352 in 2017.

Though the rise in obesity-related joint replacement surgery among middle-aged adults is concerning, children undergoing hip replacements at the age of ten could bring a lifetime of issues into adulthood. Hip replacements may help ease joint issues, but they also cause side effects that require additional surgeries. Hip replacements are often associated with adverse events, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Metallosis (metal debris buildup in soft tissue)
  • Infection
  • Skin rash
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart disease)
  • Visual impairments
  • Depression
  • Renal impairment (kidney disease)
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Calcified soft tissue
  • Bone death

Though the information comes from across the pond, England has a history of taking cues from the U.S. and our diet. It’s possible that due to the same factors, an impact will also be felt Stateside.