Reply To: Young hip replacement – advise needed!

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Hi Ben – re: BHR versus THR, I have one of each. Both hips were failing at the same time (I was nearly 65) and I could not tell which was worse. I did the research and decided I needed a BHR to allow me to carry on running, biking, climbing and mountaineering. I found a local surgeon who had a great reputation and could do the operation and got booked in. A friend then had a THR and I felt sorry for him because I expected he would not be able to climb again. Not true, he was back on the indoor wall at 8 weeks and has not looked back. My BHR went well, it turns out the left leg was the worse on X-ray, and I was jogging and climbing at 8 weeks and racing within 9months.
Two years later the right hip gave up the struggle and I went back for another BHR but the head broke off my femur during the op due to poor bone quality..
I got a ceramic/ceramic THR by Zimmer. Surgeon said I would not be able to break it, and ceramic will not wear out (metal/metal does have some wear and allergy concerns). Back jogging at 6 weeks, long days in the mountains etc within a few months, currently looking at a 24 hour challenge hike in the Lake District.
This THR leg has a better range of movement and less feeling of being a replacement than the BHR, surprisingly, although I do still have concerns that the mechanics of a THR are not apparently as good as a BHR (big spike in femur and smaller bearing). Mr McMinn, the inventor of the BHR, recently admitted that metal bearings are dead, and ceramic resurfacings are being trialled in a few places, and ceramic on cross-linked polythene seems to work well as a THR bearing (cheaper than all-ceramic). I would suggest that at your age you find a bearing where the plastic part can be swapped out easily or go for all ceramic if available – both should give over 20 years active service. Good luck!