Artificial Hip Re-Replacements

Gather 'round for a story, followed by a question or two:

I had both of my hips replaced 15 years ago when I was 14; the cartilage on both of them wore away completely, and I couldn’t bear weight on them. The two total replacements went well, and I’ve lived a full and active yadda yadda.

I had a checkup on them last month, which included x-rays. The x-rays showed the shafts of both replacements getting very close to the outside of my femur. The orthopaedic surgeon I met with said that if I were a car, my dash would have a red light or two showing. Since the replacements were close to the outside of the bone, he said I could be running into problems within the next six months to a year and a half or so; his example was, “you might be walking down the stairs, land on a stair a little hard, and SNAP! You’ve just broken your femur.”

The effective use of onomatopoeia dissolved my hopes that my hips, despite being projected to last 15-20 years when I got them, would last forever. The onomatopoeia and the fact that my surgeon told me I should get them replaced within a six month to a year and a half period, before something happens.

I don’t want to get them replaced any sooner than I have to, since re-replacements typically don’t last as long as the originals, but I don’t want to make surgery more complicated by breaking something beforehand.


Have there been any major breakthroughs in the past few years with hip replacements? Should I be asking for a specific brand (“I want the XG-572”, for example)? When I asked the surgeon, he told me that the number of replacements have diminished, due to some having inherent problems, and others working better, but that’s all he had to say at the time.

What about re-replacements? Anyone know how common these are, or how long they will really last? How about re-re-etc.-replacements? Will I get to a point in my 50s where I am confined to a wheelchair (assuming cloning has not sufficiently advanced to the point where I can grow a couple of new hips), or will I conceivably be able to keep getting re-re’s well into my 80s?

Does anyone know when cloning will be sufficiently advanced to the point where I can grow a couple of new hips? How about anyone with two extra hips to spare? Or when the Hip Factory will be having a clearance sale

Aside from answers to the previous paragraph, I’m eager to read your input; thanks in advance!

If I were you, I’d see how much medical jargon I could stomach and look at journal articles on the site of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and/or parallel organizations in other countries. At the very least, they’ll give you ideas about what you need to be asking your doc. I also highly recommend the second opinion concept. I’m on ortho doc #3, myself, and I really wish I’d seen this guy initially; it might have saved me a surgery or two.

(And holy cow, if you don’'t mind my asking, how did you manage to need 2 hip replacements at such a young age? Ick!)

Good luck, and I hope you don’t need to go through this nasty, awful stuff any more than absolutely necessary!

Eva Luna, not a doctor, but with really screwed-up ankle which will probably need to be replaced once they manage to make ones that last long enough

All the info and links to whatever you ever wanted to know about hip replacements: