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How can I make my artificial hip last longer?

Patients play an important role in helping to extend the lifespan of their artificial hips. One thing I always talk to patients about in the office—and this is something I have also written about in my book, Life After Hip Replacement: A Complete Guide to Recovery & Rehabilitation—is the advertised “30-Year Hip.”


The concept of the “30-Year Hip” is based on laboratory studies with 45 million simulated walking cycles. Over these 45 million simulated cycles, the plastic and mechanics of the artificial hip were maintained reliably, which led researchers to qualify that as the “30-Year Hip.”


My concern is that we don’t all take the same number of steps each day. If you average 45 million walking cycles out over 30 years, that leaves you with approximately 4,250 steps per day. In the FitBit era, where the American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps per day, 45 million cycles lasts just over 12 years. So again, how long your artificial hips will last is directly correlated with how much wear is placed on them.


To make artificial hips last longer, most orthopaedic surgeons now recommend following a series of defined protocols. Specifically, patients who have undergone hip replacement surgery are advised to avoid repetitive, high-impact activities. They should also be mindful of the types of exercises they do. I recommend sticking to low-impact exercises, such as bicycling, swimming, elliptical machines, and long walks.


To learn more about hip replacement surgery in Redding and schedule a consultation appointment, please contact my office at (530) 395-0340.


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