Research conducted by a team of scientists led by Dr Kevin Bozic, assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of California, San Francisco, has shed light on why total hip replacement procedures conducted in the US are not always successful.
The investigation found that there are a number of reasons why hip replacement patients have to undergo further surgery, with the most prominent being dislocation of the implant, loosening of the implant and infection.
According to Dr Bozic, it is the first time that the trend has been examined on a nation-wide level, and he noted that the results are significant as they call conventional wisdom into question.
"The reason why this study is important is because up until now it has been believed that the most common reason why hip replacements fail is because the bearing surface wears out," he commented.
"Although our study confirmed that problems related to bearing surface wear do cause hip replacements to fail, we found that other problems - including dislocation, implant loosening, and infection - may be even more common causes of hip replacement failure."
Dr Bozic went on to call for further research into the problematic areas identified by the study.
The typical cost of a hip replacement in a UK private facility is between £7,000 and £9,000.
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