Ask The Doctors: 04/08

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Total hip replacement is one of the most successful orthopaedic procedures, relieving pain and restoring function in more than 95 percent of patients who undergo the procedure. Although earlier implants could be expected to last about 10 years, newer implant materials and techniques have extended the longevity of a hip implant to 15 or 20 years, sometimes more. Implants wear out because of some of the same factors that caused your arthritis-weight-bearing and joint motion place stress on the new joint and can cause it to wear out. Breakage of the implants is rare, occurring in fewer than one percent of patients. Some precautions will be necessary for the first few months after surgery, but then you will be able to maintain an active lifestyle, including activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, golfing, and dancing. High-impact activities such as running, basketball, tennis, and sports that require rapid pivoting, should be avoided. Your surgeon and physical therapist can provide information about what activities are appropriate during your rehabilitation.
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