Join Club

Wellness Matters: What Happens When Younger Patients Need Joint Replacement?

Wellness Matters banner

The following weekly column is written and sponsored by Virginia Hospital Center, a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals for the third year in a row.

If you think joint replacement is only for the very old, think again. More and more people in their 40s and 50s are taking the plunge, unwilling to live with debilitating pain or give up the activities they love. The percentage of younger patients having hip or knee replacements has nearly doubled in the last decade.

Years ago, replacement surgery was reserved for elderly patients due to a high complication rate and lack of implant durability. But now, modern techniques allow orthopedic surgeons to evaluate each patient individually and base surgical decisions on pain and disability, not necessarily chronological age.

Likewise, the notion that prosthetic implants will wear out quickly is a myth. Thanks to improvements in materials and design, the vast majority of hip and knee implants will last 20 years or more. Current materials might prove to last even longer.

“When it comes to modern joint replacement, people of all ages have more options,” says David Romness, MD, a total joint specialist and Chief of Orthopedics at Virginia Hospital Center. “In the not-so-distant past, younger patients with advanced arthritis were told to live with the pain, cut back on activities and wait until later to have joint replacement. But today’s patients refuse to be sedentary or compromise their quality of life.”

Minimally invasive approaches, improved implant design, and refined surgical techniques have dramatically reduced recovery time. For these patients, the typical recovery period is now weeks rather than months. Most patients are up and walking immediately following surgery and regain range of motion, strength and flexibility after several weeks of physical therapy. Hospital stays have been reduced to one or two days and the vast majority of patients go directly home without having to use a rehabilitation center.

How do you decide if joint replacement is right for you? When pain and disability prevent you from living the life you want, and non-operative measures such as physical therapy, medications and cortisone injections have failed, surgery may be recommended. Learn more at Virginia Hospital Center’s free joint replacement event this fall. Dr. Romness and his colleagues will discuss every aspect of hip and knee replacement, including the latest surgical techniques, implant materials and recovery time. Joint replacement patients will share their success stories. The event will be held on Saturday, November 14, in the Hospital’s John T. Hazel Conference Center, 1701 North George Mason Drive, Arlington. Admission is free, but registration is required. Register today at

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Recent Stories

New Addison Heights Home by National Landing Attractions!

A 19-year-old man and a teen boy are facing charges after two girls overdosed at Wakefield High School last week. Police and medics responded to the school just before 11:45…

Join Arlington County Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) and a group of electric vehicle (EV) experts as they explain how to install home chargers, discuss commercial charging infrastructure, project the…

Arlington Restaurant Week returns this month with almost five dozen eateries for local foodies to explore. This marks the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s fifth consecutive year organizing the week-long event,…

The Arlington Sports Hall of Fame is extremely pleased to announce that our 2023 Annual Induction Dinner, again in partnership with the Better Sports Club of Arlington, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Knights of Columbus, located at 5115 Little Falls Road, Arlington, Va.

Our dinner will pay tribute to all the honored members of the Hall of Fame and will induct the following six new Class of 2023 inductees, joining the 62 athletes, coaches and contributors who have been inducted into ASHOF since its founding in 1958:

Noel Deskins (Yorktown Class of ’79): Track & Field record-holder & Athlete of the Year at YHS and JMU

Eric Metcalf (O’Connell Class of ’85): Star NFL running back, football and track & field record-holder and Hall of Famer at both O’Connell and the University of Texas

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

50 First Dates x The Renegade: Speed Dating

🌟 Calling all adventurous hearts! 🌟

💑 Get ready for an evening of excitement and connection as we present Speed Dating Night at The Renegade in Arlington, VA! 🌆

📅 Mark your calendars for Oct 20th, from 6-9 pm, because

Free Right-Sizing Workshop – How to Get Rid of Your…

Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools


Subscribe to our mailing list