“Hip implants are like cars, where mileage can vary”
With gaining popularity of Total Hip replacement, today even younger patients are coming for this surgery. When conservative treatments fail and patients consider a joint replacement, they want to know how long they can expect their new joint to last. Let’s know about How long does a Hip Replacement last today.
Hip replacements can last 10 to 20 years or 30 years. However, some may last even longer, while others may require revision surgery sooner. A new Hip implant in a 40-year-old super active is probably going to wear out faster than the same implant in a 65-year-old who enjoys strolling in evening.
The longevity of these artificial joints varies from patient to patient. It depends on many factors, including physical condition, activity level, weight, and the accuracy of the implant placement during surgery. It is useful to keep in mind that prosthetic joints are not as strong or durable as a natural, healthy joint, and there is no guarantee that your joint replacement will last the rest of your life.
Three factors play the largest role in hip implant longevity
“Weight, activity, and implant type have the most significant impact on how long a joint replacement will last.
New generation implant biomaterials like ceramics, oxidized zirconium articulating with strengthened plastic (using Vit E or cross linked) are expected to wear less, so last longer and thus increase durability. There is good reason to suspect that implants made from this material will last longer than plastics that were previously used, but only time can tell.
In general, try to remember:
- Avoid repetitive heavy lifting
- Avoid excessive stair climbing
- Maintain an appropriate weight
- Stay healthy and active
- Avoid “impact-loading” sports such as jogging, football, and high-impact aerobics
- Consult your surgeon before beginning any new sport or activity
- Avoid any physical activities involving quick stop-start motion, twisting, or impact stresses
- Avoid excessive bending when weight bearing, like climbing steep stairs
- No more lifting or pushing heavy objects
- Avoid kneeling
- Shy away from low seating surfaces and chairs
It’s first important to understand that a joint replacement can fail early on or over a long period of time. Early failure isn’t common, but when it does occur it’s usually because an infection develops in the joint after surgery. Long-term failure, on the other hand, is most likely to occur because the bond between the bone and the implant loosens over time, or a component of the implant wears down.
While artificial joints are designed to last a long time, they won’t last forever. This means that if you’re a young, active person considering a hip replacement, there’s a possibility that you would need to have the same joint revised sometime in future.
Setting Realistic Expectations
- “We tell patients to expect 20 to 25 years on their new joint,” for majority of cases. We may win more time if activity level doesn’t put demands on implant. For patients who are at least 60 years of age, a hip replacement will probably last for a lifetime.
- The newer materials, the novel technical procedures, enhanced surgical accuracy and the new knowledge that is being applied to today’s surgery should impact and enhance implant longevity.