Risks for Hip Replacement Do-Overs

Total hip replacement revision risk tied to age and body size

(RxWiki News) A total hip replacement can reduce pain and bring back mobility. Still, the procedure has its complications, requiring some patients to go in for an additional surgery, called a revision.

So, what might put patients at risk of needing a revision?

According to a recent study, age and body size may impact the risk of revision of total hip replacement. Results showed that patients who were taller, heavier or 75 years of age and younger had increased odds of revision.

"Control your weight to take stress off your joints."

For their research, Elizabeth A. Wright, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, and colleagues set out to study which factors might affect the risk of revision of total hip replacement surgery.

Joint replacement surgery has changed the lives of millions of Americans. While most joint replacements are successful, about 10 percent of implants will fail, requiring revision to replace the old implant with new parts.

Dr. Wright and her fellow researchers found that a number of factors increased the odds of revision after total hip replacement. These included:

  • age 75 years or younger, with an odds ratio of 1.52
  • being taller, with an odds ratio of 1.40
  • being heavier, with an odds ratio of 1.66
  • cemented femoral component (part of the implant), with an odds ratio of 1.44
  • other previous orthopedic surgery, with an odds ratio of 1.45
  • living with others (versus alone), with an odds ratio of 1.26

An odds ratio explains how frequently an event happens in one group versus another. The odds ratio of 1.52, for example, means patients have 1.52 times the odds of needing revision if they are under the age of 75 compared to those over the age of 75.

According to the authors, this study "showed that younger, taller and heavier patients and those receiving a cemented femoral component had a greater likelihood of undergoing a revision total hip replacement over a 12-year period."

They concluded that doctors should consider patients' age and body size when considering a first hip replacement, as these factors could have an effect on their risk of revision.

The study included 719 control pairs. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and was published November 28 in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Review Date: 
December 19, 2012