A new surgical method is letting patients get new hips and avoid staying in the hospital even one night. This is good news, of course, for patients but bad financial news for hospital revenues; hip replacements, like knee replacements, are usually big money-makers.
The New Haven Register reports that “Hip surgery is undergoing a transformation because of …. the minimally invasive direct anterior approach — entering the hip from the front of the body rather than the rear or the side. This avoids cutting the large muscles, which are pushed aside as the titanium and ceramic joint is implanted into the pelvis.”
But, the paper notes, “The success of hip-replacement surgery, coupled with an aging population, may mean there will be longer waits for the operation in the years ahead. According to one study, total hip replacements will increase by 174 percent by 2030, to 572,000 per year, and there may not be enough surgeons available to meet the demand. Replacements of artificial joints also will increase as the population ages.”