Total Hip Implants
The conventional arrangement of a metal ball into a special plastic (polyethylene) cup has been shown to have positive results over the years. How long it will last depends not only on age, but also on a patient’s activity level.
Another factor that may affect the durability of a total hip replacement is the bearing surface. The bearings are the two parts of the artificial hip that glide together throughout motion. These bearings can be metal-on-polyethylene, metal-on-metal, ceramic-on-polyethylene or ceramic-on-ceramic.
Technologies That May Impact Implant Performance
There have been significant advancements in improving the bearing surfaces in total hip replacement. Ceramic-on-ceramic bearings provide superior wear performance.1 Stryker’s ceramic-on-ceramic system has demonstrated significantly lower wear than metal-on-polyethylene systems in the laboratory; therefore, it is anticipated that these improved wear characteristics may extend the life of the implant.
There are also new, advanced polyethylene implants available that have demonstrated extremely low wear in the laboratory, and they are expected, over time, to have similar wear performance clinically.2
Your physician will discuss the exact type of prosthesis and surgical procedure with you.
Complications of Hip Replacement
As with any surgery, there is risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. However, they are relatively rare. Blood clots are the most common complication after surgery. Your orthopaedic specialist may prescribe one or more measures to prevent a clot from forming in your leg veins. These measures may include special support hose, inflatable leg coverings and blood thinners.
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1. Taylor. S.K., Serekian, P., Manley, M., “Wear Performance of a Contemporary Alumina: Alumina Bearing Couple under Hip Joint Simulation,” Trans. 44th Ann. Mtg. ORS, 1998.
2. Stryker Test Report RD–04–099.