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Hip resurfacing failure

3rd October 2012

Doctors have begun advising against hip resurfacing in women after the procedure showed an unacceptably high failure rate.

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The procedure is an alternative to hip replacement and often recommended to younger patients.

But a study published in The Lancet from an observational study by a team of researchers from the University of Bristol has shown that it is prone to early failure.

The study on behalf of the National Joint Registry for England and Wales that examined data from 434,650 hip operations that took place between April 2003 and September 2011, of which 31,932 (7.3%) were resurfacings.

Professor Ashley Blom from the University of Bristol’s school of clinical sciences, said: “Resurfacing failure rates in women were unacceptably high. In view of these findings, we recommend that resurfacing procedures are not undertaken in women.

“The National Joint Registry for England and Wales has the biggest joint replacement database in the world, allowing us to analyse over 30,000 hip resurfacings up to seven years after surgery.

“Our findings show that resurfacings with smaller head sizes are prone to early failure, and in particular that resurfacing in women has much worse implant survival, irrespective of head size.”

Figures revealed that the failure rate for women was as much as five times higher.

In hip resurfacing, the femoral head is not completely removed but superficial bone is removed and replaced with a metal cap. Resurfacings always have metal-on-metal bearings, whilst total hip replacements can have a variety of bearing options, such as ceramic, metal, or plastic.

 

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Comments

carol zhu

Wednesday 3rd October 2012 @ 19:54

I think that eventually, we will stop using metal on metal joint replacements altogether. In the past few years, they have been linked to safety issues way too frequently for people to be comfortable using them. Even though they are technically the newer option for THR patients, the metal on plastic implants seem to be a more reliable choice.


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