Ban 'failing' hip resurfacing implants for women, say surgeonsWomen who had worn-out hips resurfaced five times more likely to need a second operation More than one in ten suffer problemsFailure figures for men are much lower
01:07 GMT, 2 October 2012
Women should no longer be offered hip resurfacing because of ‘unacceptably high’ failure rates, surgeons have warned.
Figures show women who had worn-out hips resurfaced are up to five times more likely to need a second operation than those having conventional implants.
More than one in ten suffer problems including pain, soft tissue damage and infection, sometimes causing permanent damage.
Women who have worn-out hips resurfaced are up to five times more likely to need a second operation than those having conventional implants (picutred)
Resurfacing is often offered to younger patients as an alternative to hip replacement, but is also commonly used in older people. At least 32,000 patients – one in three of them women – have undergone hip resurfacing since it became available on the NHS and privately around ten years ago.
The procedure reconditions a worn-out hip joint by placing metal caps in the hip socket and on top of the thigh bone.
A full hip replacement involves cutting off the top of the thigh bone to fit the new joint, which can have a variety of bearing options, such as ceramic, metal or plastic.
A 55-year-old woman having hip resurfacing would have an 11 per cent chance of needing another operation within seven years
A study, conducted on behalf of the National Joint Registry for England and Wales, examined data from 434,650 hip operations undertaken between April 2003 and September 2011, of which 31,932 were resurfacings. It looked at failure rates over seven years.
The researchers, whose work is published online first in The Lancet medical journal, found smaller head sizes often used in women were linked to higher failure rates and resurfacing implants failed more quickly than other bearing surfaces.
Research leader Professor Ashley Blom, of Bristol University, said the data suggests that a 55-year-old woman having hip resurfacing would have an 11 per cent chance of needing another operation within seven years – compared with only 2 per cent of those having a hip replacement.
Failure figures for men are much lower, especially those needing larger head sizes.
Professor Blom said: ‘We recommend that resurfacing procedures are not undertaken in women.’