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Are hip replacements safe?

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Old 07-27-2006, 07:43 AM   #1
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charitina HB User
Are hip replacements safe?

I have a friend who is 90 and in moderately good health but has severe hip pain from bone rubbing against bone. She is afraid to get the hip replacement because of a friend that had it done 20 years ago and had complications. Has it improved any and what is the prognosis for those who have it? Are there often complications and does it last? Are there any alternative treatments? She did look into prolotherapy but they said it would not work for her due to the progression of the damage. Thank you very much.

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Old 07-27-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Tobias HB User
Re: Are hip replacements safe?

Many elderly persons get THR and it gives them a new lease on life. Your friend's doctors would be the best source for advice on fitness for the surgery. Requirements for surgery include the patient's ability to comply with certain post-op restrictions and cooperate in their rehabilitation in addition to a certain level of health.

Without knowing just what complications your friend's friend had 20 yrs ago, it is impossible to tell you whether surgeons have improved on the outcome for that particular complication. There are several possible complications for this surgery, ranging from nuisance to potentially fatal. A pulmonary embolism resulting from deep vein thrombosis would fit in the potentially fatal column. Early dislocation won't kill you but it sure can be a nuisance and might require re-operation.

Last edited by Tobias; 07-27-2006 at 04:11 PM. Reason: inappropriate link

Old 08-02-2006, 07:15 PM   #3
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charitina HB User
Re: Are hip replacements safe?

Her friends problem with the hip replacement is it did not last. He ended up in a wheelchair due to the pain. Is there a better prognosis now - improvement in the procedure at all and how long it lasts? How long does the average one last? Thank you.

Old 08-02-2006, 11:30 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2005
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rp_aust HB User
Re: Are hip replacements safe?

THR is a procedure that is about as safe as any major surgery can get. At 90 I am sure that any surgeon would say that the device would last your friend the rest of her life. The wear rate is directly linked to the activity and stress put on the joint and I cannot see how even an active 90 year old would have problems with wear. The standard metal/poly THR would be expected to last 15-20 years before revision was necessary - even in a 60-70 year old male.

What is much more of a problem is the dangers posed by the surgery itself. At age 90 the body does not cope with major trauma as well, and does not recover as fast. That said, recovery is possible but she should go in with a determination to work on recovery after surgery. It will be hard work, but the payoff would be movement and freedom from pain for the rest of her life.

She should talk with her surgeon about the risks that she would face and take a decision then. But I don't think that longevity of the THR implant will be an issue..............

Old 08-11-2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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markwillis HB User
Re: Are hip replacements safe?

They are safe, but you need to really investigate your options. I recently had my hip done and I really did some investigating. I ran across this website called "" It was about the Anterior Approach to total hip replacement. After researching this and visited a surgeon that performed this procedure, I decided this made total sense.

This is a approach that uses a fairly small incision, but does not cut down muscles. The surgeon goes through an interval through the front of the hip. I went forward with this approach and I was up walking without any pain in 3 days. I was placed on this gigantic looking table that allowed the surgeon to get access at my femur through one incision. The surgeon used C-Arm throughout the case so he could properly place my implants and make sure my leg lengths were accurate. My friends have all had mini incision or traditional approaches and let me tell you I was way ahead of the game.. I went through a few days of PT just to make myself feel more confident, but I was out exercising / playing golf within 10 days.... This is the only way I would have my other hip done when I need to.. Not sure where all the surgeons are, but you can find them on that website. This is where I found my surgeon..

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