- Need a new hip? Someday you may grow your own.
- 'Fix-me itis' fueling boom in joint surgeries
- Risk Assessment Tool for Osteoarthritis
- Wall Street Journal: Pushing Limits of New Knees
- New York Times: Getting a New Knee or Hip? Do It Right the First Time
- Dr. Bal in the News...
TestimonialsDr. Bal's Patients Tell Their Stories
"I am very satisfied with the outcome of my surgery and the improved quality of life I am now enjoying..."
Shamsy Kazemi-Bardool, Iran
"I am looking forward to being able to boat and golf this summer, without having to endure the pain and limitations of prior years..."
Greg Voreis, Mo.
"Just 9 ½ weeks following my surgery knee replacements, I traveled to Hawaii and went scuba diving..."
David Booker, Mo.
"Dr. Bal did great a job explaining the procedure through conversation and with his hip surgery book. He changed my life..."
Dennis Disselhoff, Mo.
"It is so important to have a physician who you trust, and who will listen to you. That's critical. I have never seen a doctor who cares so much for each and every patient..."
Faye Bleigh, Mo.
"I am glad to have come to Dr. Bal; his office staff was great to work with; the hospital experience was very good, and the outcome of surgery was all I had hoped for..."
Craig Jacobson, Ne.
"I feel so free now. Last weekend I rode my bike to Cooper's Landing and enjoyed a great meal as I watched the Missouri River roll by and listened to the bluegrass music..."
Marilyn McCreary, Mo.
"The staff at Capitol Region were very gracious, attentive and thorough. I would go back there anytime. They made sure I was comfortable..."
Bob Smith, Mo.
"It has been a real pleasure to meet and get to know Dr. Bal. He is caring, thorough in his explanations, and a great friend...."
Richard Wallace, Mo.
10. Life with an Artificial Hip
Information for Hip Patients
1. Anatomy of the Hip
2. Arthritis of the Hip
3. Treatment Options
4. Surgery Options
5. Hip Replacement Surgery Basics
6. Artificial Hip Components
7. Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery
8. Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery
9. Managing Pain or Discomfort
10. Life with an Artificial Hip
Exercise Guide for Hip Patients
(click to download PDF)
How long will the artificial hip last?
In most cases, the hip replacement should outlast your lifespan. The 15-to-20 year data on the longevity of hip replacement components is excellent, with more than 90 percent of the implants still functioning well in many studies. But, this is neither a guarantee nor assurance, for the simple reason that life is unpredictable.
Many factors affect the future of a hip replacement or resurfacing, such as accidents, fractures, late infections, and deterioration in your overall health. How well you take care of yourself down the road is something the surgeon cannot control.
The longevity of a hip replacement thus depends on many factors, including the following:
Surgeon skill in implanting the components
Known history or track record of the implants
How well you take care of yourself and your health
Understanding and respecting the limitations of a prosthetic lifestyle
Your activity level and body weight
Avoiding high impact or extreme sports
How do I know if I have a metal allergy to the hip part?
Orthopaedic implants are made of alloys of cobalt-chrome and titanium that have been implanted in millions of patients over the past several decades. Most instances of a persistently painful hip after replacement have to do with a problem related to the surgery, or possibly an infection. A true metal allergy is extremely rare, and seldom encountered in clinical medicine.
What will weather changes feel like in the hip?
Some patients report increased pain and stiffness, or can feel changes in the weather after hip surgery. These sensations are not common though, and usually will disappear over one to two years after surgery. For the first couple years, the bone adapts and grows around the metal prosthesis, and this bone activity probably leads to sensitivity to weather and pressure changes.
How about future dental work and other surgery?
Because you have an artificial hip joint in place, you must take care to protect it from infection. The same applies to any artificial implant in your body. Before having dental work (teeth cleaning, fillings, extraction or root canals) or certain medical procedures (colonoscopy, biopsy, endoscopies, etc.), you must take an antibiotic.
The antibiotic will help prevent bacteria from getting into the blood stream and thus into your hip. The odds of this happening are very rare, but the antibiotic can reduce this already small risk.
For routine dental prophylaxis following hip replacement surgery, antibiotics are required for only two years after the surgery. Patients with depressed immune function, cancer, diabetes with uncontrolled blood sugars, and the very elderly may need to take antibiotic prophylaxis forever before routine dental cleaning and other invasive procedures.
In what other situations will I need antibiotics after the hip replacement?
Antibiotics given for other medical procedures may vary. Contact us for advice if there is any doubt. Antibiotics are needed if you develop an infection such as an abscessed tooth, pneumonia, bronchitis, and skin or urinary infections.
If you have a cut anywhere that develops an infection, conditions like a tooth abscess, or ingrown toenail developing, seek medical attention urgently. Ignoring a festering sore means that there is a risk the bacteria could migrate to the hip, resulting in a serious deep infection, even though it happens rarely.
Will the new hip set off a metal detector at the airport?
Most likely, it will. Tell airport personnel that you have an artificial joint prior to entering the metal detector. Metal detection sensitivity at airports is highly variable, and it is impossible to say if a certain detector will set off the equipment. We will supply you with an implant identification card that you can carry to prove that you have metal hip replacement parts.
Can I have a MRI scan after hip replacement?
Yes. MRI scans of other parts of your body are safe after hip replacement. Although some old MRI scanning equipment may not be compatible with your prosthesis, the majority of MRI scanning equipment today is safe and compatible with hip replacement parts. You may also have a CT scan of any part of your body after a hip replacement.
How will I know if my hip implants are recalled?
In the extremely unlikely event of a recalled implant, you will be contacted by the company who made the device. All implants have lot numbers registered with the implant maker. This information is kept in your medical record. If you want a copy of your X-ray or exact implant type and model for your records, please let us know.
Rest assured that of the millions of artificial joints implanted each year, the incidence of recall is exceedingly rare. Implant companies monitor the performance of their products very carefully.
Is there a long-term risk of failure of hip implants?
Implants are engineered to withstand your body weight and activity level, but the moving parts of a hip replacement do wear over a period of several decades. A properly aligned hip replacement done by a competent, experienced surgeon will usually last the lifetime of most patients.
Subtle component malpositioning and suboptimal orientation can however compromise the lifespan of the implant. This is why the skill and expertise with which the hip is implanted in your body is a critical determinant of durability.
What if I receive conflicting advice and opinions?
Use the material here, since it was written by your surgeon. Please call or e-mail, if in doubt.
What if my question is not covered here?
Please ask any member of our team; we learn from questions, and the material here is based entirely on questions that previous patients have asked.
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