Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

Everyone told me to get a ceramic type of hip replacement. They are so smooth, they said. I'll be able to dance again with no pain and with ease. Well, that's all true but guess what? My new implant squeaks and clicks like a bird. It is positively embarrassing, and I am so disappointed. Can anything be done about this?

Answer:

Have you reported this to your surgeon and had it evaluated yet? That's the first step to eliminating the problem. Sometimes the squeaking goes away by itself over time (that's more likely when the implant is made of metal). Squeaks that develop after getting a new hip implant are not uncommon. But everyone shares your reaction to this problem -- clearly, it is not acceptable! The cause of the squeak can be multifactorial (meaning multiple causes combined together to create the problem). The surgeon must re-evaluate the size and type of implant used and alignment obtained during surgery for both components (cup and stem). X-rays can be used to look for an obvious cause of the problem. There could be issues of alignment. Is the cup tilted or angled off a bit? Was the correct-sized femoral head and neck length used for that individual? Or perhaps infection or loosening of the implant is a contributing factor. Unfortunately, sometimes squeaks generated by a ceramic-on-ceramic implant can't be identified and never go away. The surgeon ends up removing the ceramic lining inside the metal socket and replacing it with polyethylene (plastic) liner instead. That solution is almost 100 per cent foolproof. Camillo Restrepo,MD, et al. The Effect of Stem Design on the Prevalance of Squeaking Following Ceramic-On-Ceramic Bearing Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. March 2010. Vol. 92-A. No. 3. Pp. 550-557.

*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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