For years, scientists have labored to produce more durable hip replacements. Their goal has been to find designs that not only provide the range of motion of a natural hip joint, but also are less susceptible to the wear and tear that can ruin a replacement hip. Their efforts are paying off. More than four decades after the development of the first artificial hip, todays prostheses employ the use of new designs and materials that researchers hope will make your first artificial hip the last one youll ever need. "Total hip replacement is a very effective operation. Done correctly, and as long as you dont abuse it, any hip replacement can last a very long time," says Peter Brooks, MD, a member of Cleveland Clinics Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.