Any stats on runners years after replacement?

Hi everyone,

I’m 48 and I had Anterior approach THR on Dec 4th, 2023. My doctor said he didn’t recommend that I run again but that he did know people who did. That’s when I found this site and put my mind at ease. It has always been my intention to get healed and back to running some day.

Today my physical therapist asked me if I was worried about the consequences when I’m older. I told her that when the time came, if I had to replace the cup I would do so. She then asked if the bone would deteriorate because of the implant. I haven’t heard of that happening and it did get me thinking. So came here to ask if there are any of you that have had your implant in for MANY years as a runner and what affect has that had on your bones? Or are you aware of any studies that I should be concerned about?

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

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    • #20869

      Hi everyone, I’m 48 and I had Anterior approach THR on Dec 4th, 2023. My doctor said he didn’t recommend that I run again but that he did know people
      [See the full post at: Any stats on runners years after replacement?]

    • #20870

      This YouTube video may answer some of your questions.

    • #20871

      Hi TatianaMaria,

      OB’s linked video is very reassuring about the bearing surfaces, polyethylene was not just a problem because the joint loosened but because the plastic debris from this wear could provoke the body to cause pseudotumours and pain.

      I have one metal on metal bearing which will be 10 years old in November and a ceramic on ceramic bearing coming up for 7 years in May. I don’t expect any trouble from either in my lifetime, but I am 73…

      Regarding bone problems, I didn’t like the idea of a spike down my femur and the sttess-shielding associated with a THR (which is why my older hip is a resurfacing) but at the moment there is no sign of any problem.

      I am running over 1,000 miles a year, on pavement, hills and trails etc, and climbing/bouldering (taking the odd fall). My THR hip has a bit more range of motion. Same surgeon for both operations, who was asked to provide hips I could be active with.

    • #20877

      I have a THA coming up in mid-April and like your PT, my surgeon mentioned the potential for bone deterioration (not just wearing of the cup) if I went back to running more than a few days/week. I’m interested in the research behind this possibility. Would appreciate any leads!


    • #20878

      My total right hip replacement was on January 1, 2017. I am amazed that I forget most of the time that I had a hip replacement. Other areas of the old bod are wearing out but the hip is doing great. My surgeon like most instructed me I wouldn’t be able to run. I’ve proved him wrong for over 7 years now and counting. I’ve run numerous half marathons and the worst pain I had was from plantar fasciitis, not the hip. A study of runners who’ve had replacements would be a great study. Count me in as a guinea pig. I can sleep good at night knowing I made one of the best decisions in my life to get a replacement due to the future looking extremely bleak if I didn’t. Live your life like your replacement will outlive you!!

    • #20915

      I agree with the sentiments of running is a gift… and will add that the complexities with a hip replacement can cause “analysis paralysis”
      Following THR, Run gently and gradually take up the intensity… if you don’t have pain, keep on with it. I’d rather have a few “complications” at 80 than not run at 60+

    • #20954

      Thank you very much everyone!

    • #20955

      I’ll add this as it relates to bones… specifically with the femur on the replacement side… mine like many of yours has a titanium rod hammered into it… during a recent X-ray I noticed the overall diameter of my femur was noticeably larger than my non-replaced side… “Doc – is that normal?” He excitedly responded “Yes – a healthy sign of the body’s being aware of the foreign rod and subsequent response of sending bone material to the area”!

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