My mother is thinking about having a total hip replacement. She's 72-years old. The doctor says the new implants last about 15 to 20 years. Does anyone have an implant that lasts longer than that? As she gets older, a second hip replacement may not work so well. We'd like to avoid that if possible.
Long-term studies over 15, 20, and even 25 years are being reported more and more. The revision rate of the earlier implants may turn out to be higher than rates for implants used today. The materials, design, and even the surgery are much improved over even 10 years ago.

One study from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics reported on 357 cases of total hip replacement (THR) done by one surgeon. All patients got the same kind of implant called the Charnley THR. This type of implant was put in using hand-packed cement. Today many implants are cementless or cemented in place with a cement gun for a better fit.

All of the patients still living had the implant at least 25 years. Many of the patients who had died still had the original Charnley implant at the time of their death. About 10 per cent of the patients had to have an implant revision because of infection, dislocation, or implant loosening.

At age 72, your mother's implant has a good chance of outliving her. Revision or replacement of the first THR may not be needed. The new implant methods reduce pain, increase function, and improve quality of life for most patients.