Hip Replacement Using Durable Bearing Surfaces

May 12th, 2017 by LOC Team


This is a topic that is currently being debated by doctor and scientists all around the world. Now, we are not writing this article to try and answer the question of what is the best bearing surface to have in your hip because, frankly, there is no perfect bearing surface. All we can do is inform you of each of the options that you have.

Durable bearing surfaces used in hip replacement surgery

Ceramic on metal

There isn’t much known about how this bearing surface performs yet. Studies show that it might be more hard wearing than metal on metal surfaces, but the same potential risks may still be present.  As this is a fairly new surface and not many trails have been carried out on it yet, there might also be other risks that haven’t been identified yet. This bearing surface is something that is available for use, however, it is something that is typically only used when a patient requests it.

Ceramic on ceramic

The hardest and longest wearing of all the bearing surfaces used for hip replacements. Ceramic on ceramic bearing surfaces have been used in hip replacements in one form or another for about 30 years. Major risks from this surface are that it may fracture or cause squeaking. Both of these issues have been identified and, to some extent, addressed. However, they do still exist and can present problems that need to be corrected, i.e. you may need surgery again to have the surfaces repaired or replaced. This is the durable bearing surface preferred by most doctors, however metal on metal hip replacements are preferred in certain circumstances.

Metal on metal

Just like ceramic, metal on metal surfaces have also been used in hip replacements for about 30 years. It is an extremely durable surface and lasts a long time, but it also has potential risks like the others. One of the risks from metal bearing surfaces is the risk of sensitivity to the metal ions which can lead to bone loss and a lot of pain if ignored. Anyone who gets a metal on metal hip replacement will have a yearly check up to make sure that everything is tip top.

So, the reason that we can not say which is the best to have is because the scientific world hasn’t figured it out yet. There are pluses and minuses to all of the bearing surfaces used in hip replacements currently.

We hope this information about bearing surfaces used in hip replacement surgery has been insightful and helpful. If you have any queries regarding any of the surfaces mentioned here, please ask the doctor in charge of your case. They are the ones that will recommend which surface is right for you so if you aren’t sure that is it, bring these concerns up with them. If you would like to find out more about hip replacements and the conditions that can lead to needing a hip replacement, you can on here. We have a lot of articles on the subject of hip replacements that will be of interest if you think you may need one in the future or you have already had one.