Hip implant failure more likely in women than men

"hip replacement"

Copyright Dave Coverly

 The risk of total hip failure is low but is slightly higher in women than men, says research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. A large new study of 35,000 people from 46 hospitals in the US found that of the people who need total hip replacement, women were 29% more likely to need repeat surgery in the first three years than men.

Hip implant failure is rare. In this study 97.4% of replacements made it to the end of the five-year study but in those that failed, women were:

  • 29% more likely to need revision surgery due to all causes
  • 32% more likely to need revision surgery because of broken bones, instability or because the joint worked itself loose and dislocated
  • 17% more likely to need revision surgery due to infection

Anatomical differences between men and women play a role in hip implant failure after total hip replacement and this is important for designing new types of hip replacements and helping patients to make the right choices.

“Longer follow-up is necessary for hip implants,” suggests Dr Diana Zuckerman from the National Research Center for Women and Families in Washington. “What is urgently needed is long-term comparative effectiveness research based on larger sample sizes, indicating which devices are less likely to fail in women and in men, with subgroup analyses based on age and other key patient traits, as well as key surgeon and hospital factors.”