Squeaking Stryker Hip Implant

A story in the New York Times today sheds light on an increasingly common occurrence: squeaking hips.

A study in the Journal of Arthroplasty found that 7% of patients who received ceramic hips from 2003 to 2005 developed squeaks. No squeaks were found in a control group of 48 patients who received metal on plastic replacements.

Doctors who have removed ceramic hips have found dark stripes that indicate accelerated wear on the ceramic heads. Nonetheless, durability tests have suggested that even these extracted hips would have outlasted conventional replacement joints made of metal and plastic, which last an average of 15 years.

Stryker offers the Trident System, a ceramic-on-ceramic implant. Trident replaces the “ball and socket” joint of a hip when a total hip replacement is performed in patients suffering from arthritis or related conditions. It is anticipated that the improved wear characteristics will extend the life of an implant, possibly preventing cumbersome later-life hip replacements.

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