July 27, 2004


Longer lives mean hip surgery is booming (Gabrielle Giroday, Globe and Mail, July 27th, 2004)

There has been a 19-per-cent increase in the total number of hip replacements done since 1994-95, as well as a higher incidence of repeats. Of all hip replacement surgeries, 11.3 per cent are repeats, meaning there are more sufferers than ever who've made multiple voyages to the operating room in their quest for a pain-free existence. Mrs. Doucette, an active swimmer, runner and stretcher, struggled with what she called "terminal low-grade pain" for most of her adult life.

At 50, sick of limited mobility and her inability to golf or use a Nautilus machine, she opted for a gruelling process where both hip joints were replaced, eight months apart.

The upshot? Mrs. Doucette could finally go about her classroom duties as a Scarborough, Ont., high-school math teacher without fear of continually increasing pain.

"Hip replacement is going up because people are living longer and know what can be done," Dr. Hugh Cameron, a hip and knee specialist at Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's College Orthopaedic and Arthritic Institute, said.

Dr. Cameron has done hip surgery on more than 3,000 clients, and could remember volumes of patients from their early 20s to mid-60s who will be facing at least two major hip replacements in their lifetimes.

"If you get a hip replacement earlier in your life, you're going to face another one sooner or later. The more active you are, the faster the lining of the new hip wears," Dr. Cameron said.

Dr. John Antoniou, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Montreal's McGill medical school, concurs. "We're seeing an increase in the second and third time 'round surgery due to implants wearing down. With people staying alive and active longer, we can hope with the newer generation of implants that longevity will increase," he said.

If smokers and the obese are to be condemned for the health costs of their lifestyles, why not joggers and fervent athletes? What interest does the state have in condemning one and promoting the other? Posted by Peter Burnet at July 27, 2004 11:25 AM

Don't forget hearing aids for all those people who use headphones turned up so loud you can hear it across the room.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 27, 2004 11:34 AM

That's an excellent idea, and probably even politically palatable, since after we add an "activity tax", and then factor in a "fitness rebate", an average pair of running shoes would be about US$ 1 cheaper.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 27, 2004 12:39 PM

When is CA going to clamp down on these, 1 to a customer during one's life?

CA health care can't afford this.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 27, 2004 12:45 PM


Why not just import more cougars?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 27, 2004 2:54 PM

>What interest does the state have in condemning
>one and promoting the other?

It comes down to What's Trendy (TM).

And what flatters Our Betters (TM) -- joggers, dieters, and fervent athletes hold out the hope of immortality and endless youth -- "I'm so healthy and fit, I'm never gonna die! I'm never gonna get old!".

(And all the male-enhancement/Viagra-clone spams keep telling us the only thing we're supposed to want to do with that promised immortality...)

Posted by: Ken at July 27, 2004 7:15 PM

I like Neil Armstrong's philosophy of exercise: the human body has a finite number of heartbeats, the faster you use them up, the sooner you die.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 28, 2004 1:26 AM

The State must protect people from drugs. Why? If it didn't millions of protectors would be out of jobs.

Drug prohibition a jobs program? Say it isn't so.

Posted by: M. Simon at July 28, 2004 10:51 PM

Your ultimate video on demand solutions

Posted by: at September 9, 2004 12:00 AM