Hip replacement at 25?: Hello I'm a 25 year... - Pain Concern

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Hip replacement at 25?

miradax profile image


I'm a 25 year old keen cyclist, (previously a skateboarder/snowboarder in my younger days) - I tried to lead a pretty active lifestyle.

A couple of years ago I was told that when I was young I had a blood deficiency which stopped the development of my left hip. This has resulted in a height difference on one side of my body by almost 2 inches (my body has compensated over time) and restricted movement in the joint.

A hip replacement has always been on the cards but doctors are keen to hold off until I'm older as the replacements tend to only last 20-25 years. I have been cycling more and more this year and it's starting to cause me pain, especially post ride. After a big ride - usually over 50 miles I can wake in the night in pain and struggle to get going in the morning. I usually just hit the painkillers to help with this but I have a feeling it's getting worse.

I feel like I'm at the early stages of my cycling career and I'm nervous that I might not be able to continue in the same way after an operation. I would like to be able to take part in competitive races in the future. Would this procedure put a stop to my progression as a cyclist?

I'm looking forward to being less wonky for the first time in my life! I don't limp or walk any different but it can feel very unnatural and I can feel paranoid about this just walking down the office.

I have been given in-soles with the left side raised only 2cm which help with lower back pain but it's no way near the difference in leg length. These tend to squish and flatten after a few months and the ones I currently use probably aren't much use at all.

I'm not sure I can hold out for a hip replacement but should I find alternatives methods to help with the discomfort and pain or get it done and get on with my life (if I can)?

Any advice appreciated :)


20 Replies

Oh dear Oh dear....what a dilemma!!! I honestly don't know what I would go for...but then, I am going to be77 in January, so I have a very different aspect on life than you do! :p I always think surgery should be put off until it is absolutely essential, but these days with keyhole surgery things are different. I think you need to talk to as many professionals as possible and then make the decision for yourself. Good luck whatever you do. :)

miradax profile image
miradax in reply to Louisiana

Hi Louisiana

Thanks for the reply, I'm currently sat in a waiting room waiting to begin my long line of consultation meetings ahead of me.

I've been through the process before and the answer was to put it off so a couple of years on and maybe some up to date x-Rays might result in a different outcome.

I'll keep you posted

Louisiana profile image
Louisiana in reply to miradax

good luck!!! You've got young age on your side :)

You have to see Dr Lakhani. He is an Osteopath that treats me and is the reason I can still walk. At 22 I was told I would have to be in a wheelchair due to my bone deterioration and my kidney problem but because of him I am still walking. He is no ordinary Osteopath. He works on blood, organs, bones and muscles. He is the reason my aunty has not had her knee replacement and people travel from all over the world to see him. He spends hours on a person in need and doesn't charge extra for it. He uses his other senses as he has lost his sight which enables him to treat even deeper. If we don't focus on our health and spend our money to try then we are not living. He is based on hilton avenue in Finchley, North London uk. He will make time for emergencies even though his waiting list goes on for months. Let him know miss Gill recommended u and he will find u time. Message me if you would like his contact details. I know he will help you better than any doctor can.

scott2020az profile image
scott2020az in reply to SimG

This is terrible advice lol

You wouldn't be thinking about a hip replacement i you didn't need one. It mattersnot how old you are but obviously it is major surgery and there are risks involved. Often people asume it is just the cost but not always.

In your considering yes or no - ne prepared to give at least 3 moths to revover from the op and then training again. But you are young so that shouldn't take as long as us oldies!

Only you vam ,ake that final decision basrd on all the facts and figures they give you.

Good Luck

Pat x

Thanks Pat, that's good advice!

I don't have any experience in what you are talking about,but I wonder if it might be worthwhile paying for a one-off appointment with a sports medicine specialist - they know a lot more about that kind of thing, and if you are really keen on the competitive cycling, the cost of the private appointment would be well worth it in the long run.

I had a hip replacement due to hip migration at 21 years old. I'm 23 now and it's the best descion I have made. I'm pain free! From hip pain anyway! Do it now recovery will be quicker because u are young and fit! My uncle is a keen cyclist and has had both hips done and it does not hold him

Back .

miradax profile image
miradax in reply to rcwallace21

Thanks! This is great. I've had a fear of being restricted in what I do post op.

Hi there I would get a hip replacement asap , I was 43 when I got my knee replacement done and before that I was active like you, I was. Squash coach at 16 then had a motor bike accident then got married had kids , ran did lots of weight training and then ended up skiing lots and being a bootcamp instructor and running half marathons whenever I could. I loved it. Anyway what I'm trying to say is I was told a hip replacement was such an easy recovery compared To a knee and I'm sure you would have way less pain than you do now.

Good luck and we are always there for you.

miradax profile image
miradax in reply to Chawner

Hi Chawner

Thanks for that! I've always had to deal with the leg length issue but now it's causing pain I think it might be time to start walking down that road! I'm looking forward to being pain free and having equal legs but nervous about being cautious when snowboarding/cycling in future.

Are you saying you can still continue with these activities like you could now you have had surgery?

It sounds like you have achieved lots! It would be good to hear these activities are still available to you and your new knee.


Hello Mark, I am delaying a double hip replacement as I am 'only' 48. My advice is to find the best Orthopaedic surgeon you can for advice and do lots of research. It is a major operation and you will take time to recover. As others have said you are young and fit. This will stand you in good stead prior to and post op. I think that getting advice from a sports specialist is a good idea as well. There is a school of thought that would say have the operation now when you would benefit from it the most. Good luck whatever you decide. Dave.

ellesbells profile image
ellesbells in reply to

HI Mark (and Dave),

I was 'only' forties but had the worst level of hip deterioration for my age my (very experienced) consultant had ever seen. It was very bad indeed. I used to do a lot of high impact sports which I have been advised against doing now (and ohhh how I miss running :/ ). A friend is in his mid twenties and had double THR - he was a tennis coach / semi pro player. Note I say 'was' - he had to give that up because of the impact. Cycling is low/no impact so I would imagine that's different and you can continue; snowboarding, probably will be advised against because of the movements involved and probability of falls. I've been advised not to downhill ski tho cross country is ok.

ANyway, that's a rambling way of saying consult the experts! It's a cliche but yep, everyone is different. My surgeon was Ian Holloway at central Middlesex; he is outstanding and also involved in ongoing research so I very highly recommend him if you're still choosing a surgeon. I recovered from both ops almost insanely quickly (got bored at home after the second one and went back to work after about ten days, some people didn't realize I'd had the op til they saw me walking at triple speed no limp!) and my scars are minimal.

ATB, Ellie

Yviemcg profile image
Yviemcg in reply to ellesbells

Hi Ellie

When you say choosing a surgeon does that mean via the private route & not NHS?? I’m interested as I’m told I need double hip replacements urgently & am wondering if I can ‘shop’ around?


ellesbells profile image
ellesbells in reply to Yviemcg

Hey there,

I was NHS and you can go anywhere you like, anywhere in the country. If you can get to London I can't recommend Ian Holloway highly enough, even though the central Middlesex where I was isn't the most pleasant hospital in the world!


Yviemcg profile image
Yviemcg in reply to ellesbells

Thanks for that Ellie - I didn’t know that - I’m Maidenhead quite near - I’m supposed to be called in to Wexham Park next week my surgeon is on duty - I don’t know I feel the only information I’m garnering is through here & the internet - the whole thing seems out of my control - I’m just holding onto the hope it’s going to be better afterwards!! Yvie

ellesbells profile image
ellesbells in reply to Yviemcg

I hope the appointment at Wexham Park was helpful. Research your surgeon and always remember you can go where you like. Don't let them bully you either! I got quite stressed about having a general anaesthetic and the registrar was insisting I had one 'because you're nervous'. I pointed out it was the anaesthetic making me nervous not the op, and refused to sign the consent forms. The anaesthetists were lovely tho, and absolutely agreed I should have a local, both times.


I would suggest ignoring surgery for as long as you can.

A goods sports physio will be able to loosen up your hip and retrain it to be 'normal' despite the leg length difference. It may even lengthen your leg a little too. They can also help you with your training with pacing, exercises and stretches that will help with your cycling. They can look at your cycling technique too and suggest slight changes in saddle handlebar position. Even a few mm change can make all the difference.

If your hip is complaining after 50 miles, then it's time to reduce the distance for a while, and then build back up slowly.

Hi, I had a hip replacement at 38. I waited too long and now have a degree of permanent pain from the damage that was caused to my muscles and surrounding tissues. Whilst I’m in far less pain than I was before I will always be left with a degree of pain and “disability” because of that. I will always need strong painkillers in my back pocket for the off days. I would recommend going for it sooner than later. I found a surgeon who specialises in young hip preservation and he told me to get my life back now and use my hip while I’m young and worry about replacements later on in life when science will have advanced. I have a ceramic on ceramic hip and there is an expectation it will far exceed the 15-20 yr mark. Good luck!

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