Many years ago, when I first learned about hip replacement -- and that I'd be needing one -- I wanted to know how long it would last. Was my new hip going to be a permanent solution or was it not going to last a lifetime? After all, it is a mechanical part. I was quite young -- and I must admit to you -- the doctor's projection for how long the joint replacement would last was a bit too optimistic. I think I was told it might last 10, 15 even 20 years. My first one lasted 7.
Then came better materials, more durable metal, improved technique, cementless versus cemented. So where do we stand now? A study, which included 14,160 total hip replacements in patients younger than 50 years old in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway between 1995 and 2007, analyzed prostheses survival, according to OrthoSuperSite.com. About 49% of the patients had cementless prostheses, 27% had cemented, 14% hybrid (cemented femur and uncemented acetabular part), and 8% inverse hybrid. Researchers concluded there was an 83% overall 10-year survival of hip prostheses. There was no apparent difference between men and women regarding who needed revision. There was a 37% lower risk of revision in patients with inflammatory arthritis than in those with osteoarthritis. There was a lower revision rate for inverse total hips versus cemented total hips in men -- and the lowest aseptic loosening rates were associated with cementless designs. But researchers said, a revision rate approaching 20% at 10 years is not acceptable -- it's just too high.
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