Participation in high-impact sports or activities significantly increases wear and decreases the survivorship of hip replacements, according to researchers. Football, skiing, tennis, jogging, soccer, and martial arts are examples of high-impact activities. It is not uncommon for orthopedic surgeons to warn patients about high-impact activity but there have not been many studies that actually evaluated the effect on artificial joints.
According to the study results published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, a team of French researchers compared the function, wear rates, and survivorship of hip implants in 70 patients who participated in high-impact sports and 140 patients who participated in low-impact activities. They assessed the need for revision related to mechanical failure and loosening of the hip prostheses. The assessments were made at least 11 years after the hips were surgically implanted. Patients also completed questionnaires about their sports participation and quality of life. Those participating in high-impact sports reportedly had better function and quality of life than patients participating in low-impact activities. However, at 15-years followup, survivorship of hip implants was 80% for high-impact participants compared to about 94% for the low-impact participants. Patients and doctors need to be aware of the risk of high-impact activity on implant survivorship.
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