Hip Replacement Risks Include Disrupting Hip and Knee Alignment

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Understandably unaware of Hip Replacement Risks, most people think that getting their hip replaced is like replacing a bad part in their car. They pull into the shop and the surgeon disconnects the old hip, removes it, and then screws in a shiny new one. Problem solved. However, comparing a bad hip to a bad car part is a bit like comparing apples to onions; it just doesn’t work. Repairing a bad part in a car involves replacing a machine part that’s old with an identical new one. The machine parts used in a “new hip” aren’t identical to the original equipment; hence,  a hip replacement may disrupt hip and knee alignment. Why? Machine parts simply don’t belong in a hip.

Now we have yet another study that confirms that hip replacement likely destroys the natural precise alignment of your hip.

Hip Replacement Changes the Biomechanics of the Leg…

This new study looked at changes in alignment of both the hip and knee following hip replacement.  The study included scientific measurements during walking of 163 (151 with osteoarthritis, 12 without) hip replacement patients. Researchers measured changes from pre- to postoperative physical changes (e.g., leg length), function (how the knee and hip moved), and images. The results showed that the tracking of the knee cap was altered following hip replacement, possibly leading to a higher risk of arthritis in the knee. This impacted how the patient walked and functioned in daily activities, possibly leading to longer term issues in the back and ankle as well.

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Don’t Forget These Hip Replacement Risks and Side Effects

If the new study showing hip replacement disrupts hip and knee alignment isn’t enough to dissuade you, don’t forget the numerous hip replacement risks, side effects and complications we’ve blogged about many times, most recently earlier this month:

The upshot? While out with the old, in with the new may be a poignant idiom to live by when dealing with bad parts in your car, in most cases it doesn’t translate well to your bad hips. With so many studies showing numerous hip replacement risks, side effects and complications, and now this newest study showing hip replacement disrupts hip and knee alignment, it may be time to consider treasuring and nurturing the old with a nonsurgical alternative using your own stem cells. Newer isn’t always better!

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19 thoughts on “Hip Replacement Risks Include Disrupting Hip and Knee Alignment

  1. Jim

    Hello Regenexx Readers,

    Anybody who has any sore creaking knee or hip joints needs to seriously consider reading a fascinating book with a glowing forward by none other that Jack Nicklaus, the legendary golfer. The author , a Viet Nam marine combat vet, shot up and debilitated, figured out a way, through unique daily stretching routine, to alleviate his joint pain and get everything back into alignment. Amazon has the book. It’s by Pete Egoscue . It’s endorsed by Tony Robins, Teddy Forstmann, Deepak Chopra and more. Stretching, that’s it. One DC I know has given one to every patient for the past 15 years.
    That’s how I introduced to Pete E.
    Pre or post treatment, I believe it’s a very beneficial routine to keep our joints aligned. Fascinating book. Eight bucks!

    1. Regenexx Team

      Agree. We recommend Egoscue to many of our patients. It’s great stuff!

  2. Chuck Jamison

    I will be 60 soon. I have arthritis in my right hip. I was told that I need to have it replaced. My Two brothers both had replacements. I am convinced that replacement surgery is not the answer. But what can be done? I face severe pain sometimes.

  3. Susan

    Is there any hope for hip dysplasia, including maximum cartilage loss, with stem cell therapy?
    Thank you.

    1. Chris Centeno Post author

      Hips that have no cartilage left and dysplasia are much less likely to respond to this therapy.

  4. Chris Centeno Post author

    Chuck, we would have to take a look at the films, I would fill out the am I a candidate form.

  5. Dave Remington

    Please consider that there is hip resurfacing, which can preserve the same geometry, angles, measurements, etc. that one has before surgery. There are a number of serious athletes that have had a hip resurfacing and are now performing as they used to do (a professional bike racer and an elite ultra-marathoner, among others).
    The joint gets replaced, but with minimal bone removal. The femoral head is mostly preserved, and all of the bone from the femoral head to the greater trochanter is preserved, unlike what is done with total hip replacement, wherein approximately all the bone above the lesser trochanter is removed.
    There are also two new non-metal-on-metal hip joint replacements used for hip resurfacing (one by Dr. McMinn in the U.K. (brand new) and Dr. Pritchett in Seattle, WA. See U-Tube video of Dr. Pritchett showing the device. It uses highly-cross linked polyethylene, which does not create the bone-destructive plastic debris that non-highly crossed linked poly does.
    Further, it seems to have been shown that the MOM debris problem has been caused by placing the acetabular component of the new joint at an angle that predisposes the joint to produce the debris; meaning one needs to have a surgery done by a very experienced surgeon.
    All of the above is not to say that stem cells might avoid the need to have the hip joint resurfaced, or at least delay the procedure. I am scheduled for a stem cell injection for just those reasons (at Regennex).

  6. Jacqueline Bardwell

    I have oa in both knees..right knee is a little worse then the left knee I think.my knees grind and sound dry when i sit down and get up..does this mean I have lost all cartiledge in my knees and will have to have knee surgery..also ai want to get stem cell done asap… and need desperately to find good experienced drsfairly near me.. i have a family member in Rockford,illinois..and a family member in Marengo,illinois and then i have one more family member in Mesa Arizona I have no one to stay with me tohelpme after i get these stem cell treatments i am relying on your info and help for me asap. soncerely, Mrs (widowed) Jackie Bardwell

    1. Regenexx Team

      It sounds like your arthritis is progressing, but that is generally not an issue with our Procedures. We’d of course need to examine you to determine what’s going on specifically and what the appropriate treatment would be. We actually have two Providers in Illinois and one in Arizona. Here is the link: https://regenexx.com/find-a-physician/. Thankfully the recovery from stem cell treatments is nothing like surgery. If you’d like to speak to one of our doctors first and them take a look at your MRI’s and take a history, please fill out the Am I A Candidate Form : https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/knee-surgery-alternative/

  7. Polly B

    My husbands ankles are bone on bone. Arthritis is very bad in both. He was an avid softball player til age 36 and sprained them often. He needs replacements or them fused. He doesn’t want to do either. He’s 55. Do you think you could help him?

    1. Regenexx Team

      We treat ankle arthritis routinely. https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/ankle-surgery-alternative/ Given the life of such devices, 55 is extremely young until and unless all other options have been exhausted. This link will take you to a series of articles on treating ankle arthritis with stem cells rather than fusion or replacement: https://regenexx.com/?s=ankle+arthritis. If you would like to find out if your husband would be a good candidate for a Regenexx procedure, please fill out the Candidate form so that he can be evaluated.

  8. smita

    I live in Oman.
    can I find treatment in Oman or Dubai..UAE
    Or india
    my husband has been asked to undergo hip replacement.

    1. Regenexx Team

      We are exploring that possibility and will update you if more information becomes available. https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/hip-surgery/. Here are the current Regenexx locations, one being in Australia: https://regenexx.com/find-a-physician/

  9. Nina

    I had my right knee done..no problem. Had my left hip done 4 months later and went great other than needing 2 transfusions and a catheter for three weeks. Then was able to sleep on that side. 6 months later had left knee done and could not complete PT because of hip pain. Could not lift leg without pain. Is this normal.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Nina,
      Not “normal” but, unfortunately, these types of issues are more common than people think. From your lumbar spine to your foot is all one finely tuned syncchronized unit, and amputating hips and knees and replacing them with prostheses given the processes used, can unfortunately create these types of complications. Please see: https://regenexx.com/search/knee+replacement/ and https://regenexx.com/search/hip+replacement/

  10. Joanna cotterill

    I had a hip replacement 3 year ago . All went well , but I know suffer from lack of muscle in my upper leg and pain in my groin and lower back . I feel like my muscle or something has been damaged . After an exray in my knee that is also not aligned properly now . I’m quite an active person so the lack of muscle in my leg is not from sitting around . My leg is also now a tad longer .

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Joanna,
      Very sorry to hear that, Joanna. What type of Hip replacement was done? Theoretically, newer muscle sparing THR surgeries should cause less muscle damage. A thorough back exam and determining that the hip is the source of the issues are important before Hip replacement. Please see. https://regenexx.com/blog/hip-replacement-pain/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/hip-replacement-back-pain/ Unfortunately, knee alignment issues, muscle damage and a longer leg are all possible results of hip replacement. Our UK Regenexx provider may be able to help you figure out what’s going on: https://regenexx.com/providers/algocells/

  11. Unathi

    hi, I did a hip replacement 2 years back with both hips, and i have been fine since then, but lately I notice there is a pain in my knee which sometimes makes it hard for me to stand and even walk, I went to the hospital and was taken for X-rays but there Doctors said there is nothing wrong He sees, and I still have the pain now, most time I have to put a knee guard, is there anything I can do or drink to help with the pain.

    1. Chris Centeno, MD Post author

      I would need to perform a telemedicine consult to comment.

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