A successful long-term hip replacement may depend on the patient's genes, researchers have found.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester and published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, looked at genetic variations in 312 patients, over half of whom (162) had experienced problems within ten years of receiving their hip replacement.
Analysis revealed that patients with variations in the gene responsible for generating matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1), an enzyme which breaks down collagen, the main protein in bone and cartilage, were over three times more likely to have aseptic loosening, where the artificial joint comes loose and the surrounding bone begins to dissolve.
Meanwhile, hip replacement patients with variations in the gene responsible for vitamin D synthesis were almost twice as likely to suffer from bone dissolution and deep-seated infection, in which the body becomes unable to control the infection caused by bacteria colonising the artificial implants.
Dr Hammad Malik told Life Style Extra that both aseptic loosening and deep infection "may be due to the genetic influence of candidate susceptibility genes".
"Excellent outcomes have been extensively reported following total hip replacement, but the long-term failure of these implants due to loosening and associated bone loss remains a problem. The findings of this study are novel and will require verification by further studies," he added.
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