New Hip and Knee Replacements Require More Repeat Surgery

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According to a new study, new techniques for hip and knee replacements seem to require more repeat surgery than older methods. According to a study published in the journal of PLos Medicine, one out of 75 people who have undergone hip and knee replacement surgeries usually requires follow-up surgery three years after the original procedure. But those who have undergone procedures called hip resurfacing and unicondylar knee replacements have a higher rate of follow-up surgeries than those who underwent older surgery procedures.

The study covered close to 170,000 procedures performed between 2003 and 2006. The overall revision rate is 1.4 percent. For those who underwent the newer technique of hip resurfacing, the revision rate is at 2.6 percent. In this procedure, doctors simply replace the surface of the femur and not the whole joint. For the Unicondylar knee replacement- wherein doctors replace only one side of the knee joint, the revision rate is even higher at 2.8 percent.

The study was conducted by Jan van der Meulen and his colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In the published report, Meulen said, “On the basis of our data, consideration should be given to using hip resurfacing only in male patients and unicondylar knee replacement in elderly patients."

The findings of the research are in line with the findings from other countries. The study did not look at the brands and types of replacement products that had the lowest revision rates but van der Meulen said that will be part of future studies.

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