Hip Replacement for Women - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Hip Replacement for Women

62-year-old Linda Dorman had her hip replaced last month.

"I had a lot of pain when I walked. I couldn't… I couldn't make my leg work right. I didn't have the right kind of gait."

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds women who undergo total hip replacement surgery face a 29% higher risk of implant failure within the first three years than men. Researchers explain smaller implants involve a smaller ball in the socket which can dislocate more easily.

"Females have a propensity to get smaller implants because of the size of their bones and the size of their structure," says study co-author Dr. Monti Khatod.

The study also showed women who had metal on metal implants had almost twice as many problems as men.

"It may be that they are more sensitive to the metals that are breaking off into the bloodstream," says Dr. Diana Zuckerman, National Research Center for Women & Families.

More than 300,000 Americans undergo total hip replacement surgery every year. The overwhelming majority of these operations - up to 98% -- are successful.

Still, experts say the Food and Drug Administration should require more testing on hip implants to find out which ones work best with women's bodies and will last 15 to 20 years.

"It's not like a consumer reports magazine you can go to and found out which is the best toaster? Which is the best hip?"

Linda had her surgery six weeks ago and already feels a big difference. "I don't have any pain. I don't limp anymore."

She's enjoying her newfound mobility and not worrying about the future.

The study looked at 35,140 patients who underwent total hip replacement surgery. 57-percent of the patients were women and the average age was almost 66 years old.

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