FAQ Category: Hip


Before having a hip replacement for my left leg two years ago, I had a series of steroid injections that really helped. In fact, I think those injections made it possible to put off having the surgery for a good year or more. Now that I’m starting to have the same problems on the right side, my doctor is balking at doing the injections. Something about the risk of joint infection. I really want the injections. How do I convince him otherwise?

It might help you to understand potentially where the physician is coming from on this issue. Research has shown that there may be a link between steroid injections before hip replacement and serious hip joint infection after the procedure. One study reported a 30 per cent rate of hip infection […]


My doctor wants to delay hip replacement surgery for me as long as possible. I understand her thinking. I’m just not sure my hurting hip agrees. She has suggested trying a steroid injection (maybe up to three) first. I feel like I’m spinning the dial on this one. What do you suggest?

Steroid injections into a painful, arthritic hip are used as a diagnostic tool as well as an alternative to surgery. On the diagnostic side, if an injection directly into the hip reduces pain and improves motion and function, then it is clear the problem is coming from the joint and […]


Is it true that African Americans are less likely than white Americans to need a hip replacement? I heard that on a radio news report. Or are those figures lower for African Americans because of the socioeconomic differences (no insurance, no health care)?

It was recently reported that hip replacements due to primary osteoarthritis are less likely among American Hispanics and African Americans compared with whites of European ancestry. People of European descent are the only ones who develop primary osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. You heard correctly that individuals who are of […]


My sister just had her first hip replacement. I always knew she had arthritis but didn’t know how bad it was. She is about 10 years older than me. I’ve heard that arthritis runs in families. Does this mean I’ll probably start getting it too as I get closer to her age?

It turns out that primary osteoarthritis is considered a genetic disease — but only among people of European descent. People who are of African or Asian lineage are much less likely to develop this condition. In fact, according to recent research findings, primary osteoarthritis is completely absent in true Asian […]


I come from a generation who often sing that famous line from the Rolling Stones song I can’t get no — satisfaction, which leads me to ask: how often are people happy with their results after a hip replacement? I’m not going to do it unless I feel really, really confident that I’ll be more than satisfied with the results. What do you think?

According to a recent review article by a group of orthopedic surgeons from The Ohio State University, satisfaction rates with hip and knee replacements are good-to-excellent for most patients. Satisfaction with results has steadily improved over the years thanks to modern surgical techniques, surgical tools, surgeon expertise, and overall improved […]


It’s been a year and I’m still heart broken but finally coming out of my shell of grief to ask the question. How often does a 72-year-old man in good health die after having a routine hip replacement? That’s what happened to my husband. Lots of our other friends have had this done with no problems. Why my husband?

Many more older adults are choosing joint replacements in order to stay active longer. In fact, it is anticipated that there will be an almost 200 per cent increase in the number of hip replacements done in the United States over the next 20 years. But not everyone who wants […]


I have been struggling with overgrowth of yeast in my body ever since I had to take antibiotics repeatedly for ear infections. Now my dentist wants me to take another round of antibiotics before having my gums worked on. This is supposed to prevent a possible infection in my hip replacement. Do I really need this? What do you think?

In the past, there has been a routine practice of prescribing prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics for patients with joint replacements having dental work done. The goal was to avoid infection, which can have serious complications for anyone with a joint replacement. Bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and […]


I have a particularly difficult problem. Two years ago, I had surgery and pelvic radiation for both ovarian and uterine cancer. I’ve survived all of that treatment only to end up with severe bone damage to my right hip (which already has a hip replacement). The orthopedic surgeon is considering my case because it’s so complicated. Maybe I should know more about what there is to ‘consider’ (worry?) about. What can you tell me?

Surgeons planning a second or revision surgery after the first total hip replacement must consider many factors. The biggest and most important one is bone loss. There are several different reasons for this bone loss. It sounds like you may have bone loss from the radiation treatments. But there are […]


Mother is having so much trouble with her total hip replacement she is actually considering having the operation done over again! Tell me what we should know before heading into this kind of major surgery.

Hip Joint replacements are becoming common place these days. Last year, there were 300,000 total hip arthroplasty (THA) procedures done in the United States. And that means an anticipated higher number of revision (re-do or second) surgeries. Surgeons planning a second or revision surgery after the first total hip replacement […]


I am a physical therapy student assigned the task of finding out if there is any known reason why our cadaver for anatomy lab has pelvic osteolysis on the left side. She does have a total hip replacement on that side. I haven’t found much to support this idea on the internet. What can you tell me?

There have been many controversies and debates over post-operative effects from cemented implants for total hip replacements. Revision rates and survivorship have been compared recently for cemented implants versus cementless implants. It appears that cemented implants may last longer than cementless ones. Perhaps long enough to form bone osteolysis in […]


I’m checking into hip replacements — type of material, design, arthroscopic versus open surgery, minimally invasive versus mini-incision. You name it, I’m checking it out. What can you tell me about the durability of the cemented versus cementless implant. Does one last longer than the other? I want something that will last me a good long time — maybe even the rest of my life.

As you have discovered, when joint replacements are put in place, they can be cemented in place or the surgeon can use a cementless type that fills in with bone. Both are still commonly in use but many surgeons have switched to all cementless. They made this switch to avoid […]


My father is an athletic trainer and has always helped me with my various athletic injuries. But a hip problem that turned out to be something called femoroacetabular impingement (or FAI as my doctor calls it) is new to him. Is this really a new or rare problem that I have? Can you give me a quick run down on it?

FAI is probably the most common cause of early cartilage and labral damage in the hip of young athletes complaining of hip pain. But it’s not really new — it’s just that the condition has been given a name that your father may not have heard used. Impingement refers to […]


I just read on your website about a guy who got holes in the bone after a hip replacement. I’m thinking about getting a hip replacement but I sure don’t want holes in my bones. How does a person avoid that problem?

Osteolysis or bone loss after total joint replacement (knee or hip) can be a problem. Tiny flecks of bone and debris from the backside of the implant lead to osteolysis. Over time the implant can come loose or the bone can fracture. Not everyone with osteolysis has symptoms (pain, swelling, […]


I’m looking into different options for my hip pain. I know I have funny shaped hip bones so the joint rubs wrong and has caused a hole to form in the hip socket. I don’t want to have a hip replacement just yet. I did find some information on your website about treatment for these kinds of holes in the knee. Can they do the same thing for the hip?

Defects, holes, or lesions of the articular cartilage (surface of the joint) can be treated with a surgical procedure known as microfracture. The surgeon creates tiny holes in the surface of the joint at the site of the problem area. Blood seeps through from the bone marrow and stimulates a […]


I had a surgery called “micofracture” for a hole in my knee joint. Worked great. Found out I have a similar hole in my opposite hip. Going to see the surgeon next month. If I have this done on my hip, what’s the recovery time like?

Defects, holes, or lesions of the articular cartilage (surface of the joint) can be treated with the surgical procedure you referred to and known as microfracture. The surgeon creates tiny holes in the surface of the joint at the site of the problem area. Blood seeps through from the bone […]


My grandpa has asked me to write you a question. Gramma had a hip replacement last month. Now it has gotten infected. The doctor wants to put something called a “pick line” into her so she can have antibiotics direct to the blood. Why can’t she just take the pills like always? As Grandpa puts it, “Why do they insist on new-fangled stuff when the old way works perfectly fine?”

Total hip (and total knee) replacements are becoming commonplace among American seniors. Complications are always a possibility after any surgery. Infection is one of the most common problems. Current studies suggest that up to two per cent (two out of every 100 patients) develop a joint infection after a total […]


What happens when someone gets an infection in a hip replacement?

An update on the treatment of post-operative infection following hip replacement was recently published that may have some useful information. There are some new developments and advances in this area. One question being investigated is: since there are so many different ways to approach the problem: which treatment gives the […]


O.K. I think I have my mind made up between a metal or a ceramic bearings for a hip replacement. I’m hoping you can give me some advice that will help me put the final cap on the decision, so-to-speak. I won’t say which way I’m swinging. Just tell me what you recommend.

We will defer to the wisdom of a recent publication comparing the bearings of today’s choices in hip replacement bearings. In this report, orthopedic surgeons compared the 10-year results when using metal-on-metal bearing versus ceramic-on-ceramic. They also compared the survival rates of these two types of alternative bearings with the […]