Features September 2011 Issue

Hip Replacement: Which Implant Is Best for You?

All types of prostheses have advantages and disadvantages…and one may be downright dangerous.

When it comes to hip replacement, there’s no one-size-fits-all. The type of implant you’ll get depends on many factors, including your age, physical condition, fitness level, and the level of function you’d like to have after the replacement, says Peter Brooks, MD, a staff physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Beyond these personal factors is yet another consideration: the durability and safety of the implant. On May 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked for additional studies of metal-on-metal implants. Those implants have been linked to high early failure rates, and worrisome health problems in some patients due to metal debris and metal ions leaking into the body.

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