Study shows longevity of cemented hip replacements in under-30s

Published on 04 February 2013
Study shows longevity of cemented hip replacements in under-30s

Patients who undergo hip replacement with a cemented implant before the age of 30 are likely to benefit from their operation for at least ten to 15 years, a study has found.

Hip replacement surgery is an effective treatment for patients with severe joint damage, usually as a result of age-related osteoarthritis.

However, the number of hip replacements performed on younger patients is rising, increasing the likelihood that these individuals will need revision surgery during their lifetime.

Relatively little research has been carried out on the long-term results of hip replacements in young adults, so researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in The Netherlands set out to shed light on the subject.

The researchers looked at data on 69 hip replacements performed on 48 patients under the age of 30, all of which were carried out between 1988 and 2004.

Cemented implants were used in the initial procedures and in any subsequent revision surgeries.

Patients were typically 25 years old at the time of their hip replacement and were followed up for an average of 11.5 years.

During that time, 13 revisions were performed, including three total revisions and nine cup revisions for aseptic loosening.

The researchers found that 90 per cent of initial hip replacements were still in place after ten years, with 82 per cent surviving for at least 15 years.

They also looked at the outcome of the 13 revision surgeries that were performed and found that none required further revision within ten years of re-implantation.

Writing in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, the study authors noted that any implant used in patients under the age of 30 "should have a high survival rate, and needs to be easily revisable resulting in a low re-revision rate".

They concluded that cemented total hip implants in patients under 30 years of age "have an encouraging outcome at ten and 15 years after surgery".

"The 13 revised hips, treated with bone grafting and the third-generation cement technique, were performing well with no re-revisions within ten years after surgery," they added.

A spokesman for Arthritis Research UK, which carries out research to improve the longevity of joint replacements by improving surgical techniques and materials, welcomed the findings.

"This data is of interest, as many younger people tend to have uncemented hip replacements, as opposed to the cemented types, as they tend to be easier to revise," he added.