Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I've had osteoporosis for the past 10 years. I'm doing my exercises and taking my medications. I also need a hip replacement. Is it safe to try for it? I've heard brittle bones can break during that operation.

Answer:

Many people with osteoporosis have had total hip replacements. Often the hip breaks and it can't be repaired because of the osteoporosis. Doctors have special ways of handling such cases.

They use cement to hold the implant in place. They can choose implants that don't need the inside of the femur (thigh bone) to be drilled out. They are more likely to use an open method of surgery instead of the newer mini-incisions.

Ask your doctor for his or her opinion. A decision can be made based on your X-rays and bone mineral density studies. Your overall health is a factor and whether you smoke. Tobacco-use delays wound healing and increases your risk of a fracture. If everything checks out, you could be a good candidate for a hip replacement.

B. Sonny Bal, MD, MBA, et al. Early Complications of Primary Total Hip Replacement Performed with a Two-Incision Minimally Invasive Technique. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 11. Pp. 2432-2438.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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