Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure that has improved the quality of life for many people, particularly those who suffered from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis or another medical condition impacting the hip joint’s structural pieces.
The surgery involves replacing the damaged or injured part of the hip joint with an artificial implant, which is designed to improve joint function and reduce pain. One question that often arises from those considering hip replacement surgery is, “How long does a hip implant last?”
In this blog, we’ll explore this question and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about hip replacement surgery.
Typical Lifespan of a Hip Implant
The lifespan of a hip prosthetic implanted during hip replacement varies from patient to patient. Generally, a hip prosthetic lasts 20 years, and some can last even longer.
Several studies examined how long hip prosthetics last and how the durability of the implants is affected by an individual’s age at the time of surgery.
These studies found that:
- Only 4.4% of the 60,000 people who had a hip replacement required revision surgery in the first ten years after their hip replacement surgery, and approximately 15% required revision surgery by the 20-year mark.
- Overall, people over the age of 70 who have had a hip or knee replacement have a 5% chance of having a second joint replacement in their lifetime, but this risk is much higher in younger people, especially men. In men under age 50, up to 35% may need a second joint replacement.
Factors Influencing the Longevity of a Hip Implant
The lifespan of a hip implant depends on several factors, including the patient’s age, activity level, and overall health.
Patient’s General Health
Patients’ general health plays a pivotal role in the longevity of a hip implant. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease can complicate recovery and increase the risk of complications, potentially reducing the lifespan of the implant.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the age of the patient can also significantly contribute to the longevity of the hip imlpant.
Level of Physical Activity
While an active lifestyle is beneficial for overall health, high-impact activities like running and jumping can put stress on the hip implant, potentially leading to faster wear and tear.
On the other hand, low-impact exercises like swimming and cycling can help strengthen the muscles around the hip and improve joint health, potentially prolonging the life of the implant.
Quality of the Implant
The quality and type of implant used also significantly impact its lifespan. Implants made from modern, durable materials like metal, ceramic, or high-grade plastic tend to last longer.
Furthermore, the design of the implant and the precision of its placement during surgery can influence how well it functions over time.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Hip Replacement Failure
The most common warning sign of hip replacement failure is pain or discomfort, which can occur either in the hip or groin area or radiate down the thigh.
Other signs that could indicate implant failure include swelling, stiffness, and a grinding or popping sound in the joint. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your hip replacement surgeon immediately. In some cases, revision surgery may be recommended.
Hip revision surgery is the surgical replacement of a failing implant. It involves removing the failed implant and replacing all or part of it with a new one. Revision surgery is more complicated than the original procedure, and the recovery period is usually longer.
However, it is vital to undergo revision surgery as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the hip if a mechanical issue has occured.
Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Hip Implant
To extend the lifespan of your hip implant, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s post-surgery recommendations. These may include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding high-impact activities, and engaging in regular exercise to maintain joint mobility.
Trusted Hip Replacement Surgeon in Raleigh, Durham, and Apex, NC
A hip replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for those with chronic joint pain. However, it’s essential to understand the factors that affect the lifespan of hip implants and maintain proper care to extend their durability.
If you are in search of a highly trained and compassionate hip replacement surgeon, consider our board-certified hip surgeon, Dr. Brett Gilbert.
Dr. Brett Gilbert has advanced fellowship training in hip replacement surgery and recommends the most suitable treatment option for your unique hip condition. He is also trained in revision hip surgery and helps patients get back on their feet faster.