I've had two hip replacements now. Both are made out of ceramic. The first one was done in the year 2000. I just got the second one last year. I've had no problems with the first hip. But the second one seems to grind and squeak whenever I bend my hip. The same surgeon did both hips. What could be causing this weird sound?
Noises from a hip implant such as squeaking or grinding have been reported and studied carefully. It doesn't happen very often (less than one per cent of the time), but it's annoying and can be painful.
There are many theories as to the possible cause of the problem. Some experts have suggested it's a problem with mismatched ceramic bearing diameters, malpositioning of the implant, or loss of the protective fluid film. Others have investigated the possibility that the use of short necks in the femoral component or wear debris from metal pinching against other metal could cause this problem.
In a recent study, researchers show that metallosis caused by impingement (pinching) of the femoral neck against the rim of the acetabulum (hip socket) is the most common cause of squeaking. Metallosis refers to wear debris from the metal parts of the implant. It can cause a painful inflammatory reaction in the soft tissues and bone around the implant.
Be sure and mention this to your surgeon. It may require a revision surgery to correct but it may be better to address the problem sooner than later to avoid further complications.
T. M. Ecker, MD, et al. Squeaking in Total Hip Replacement: No Cause for Concern. In Orthopedics. September 2008. Vol. 31. No. 9. Pp. 875-876, 884.
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