Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data from 51,000 Medicare patients who received total hip replacements (THR) between July 1995 and June 1996 as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
Following patients for 12 years, the findings were published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Research, October 17, 2012.
After a dozen years, not only were men 23 percent more likely to need a second procedure than women, but for seniors ages 65 to 75, the revision rate was 47 percent higher than that for patients age 75 or older.
The first 18 months after surgery represented the highest revision risk – about two percent – which then dropped to one percent for the remainder of the follow-up period.
And doctors who had performed fewer than six hip replacement surgeries a year were more likely to put their patients at risk – 21 percent of patients were more likely to need a second surgery compared to hip revision surgeries performed by doctors who had done more than a dozen procedures a year.
However, do not get the impression that the expertise of the surgeon is the lone factor to determine the success of a metal-on-metal hip replacement.
A surgeon’s background has nothing to do with the manufacture and sale of the defective DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII, all recalled because of their early failure rate.
When metal parts come into contact in these defective medical devices, metal debris finds its way into the muscle, tissue and blood stream causing metal toxicity and an early revision rate, far in advance of the expected 15-year life span expected of most hip prosthesis.
Each time a hip must be removed, muscle and tissue is removed too, as well as bone, the anchor for the new hip replacement. As most patients find out the hard way, there are only so many hip revisions one can endure during a lifetime.