Lasting Hip



Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs
ŠIvanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. December 1999

Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is painful, debilitating and sometimes requires surgery. In fact, more than 250,000 Americans need hip replacement surgery each year. Often the implant wears out within 10 to 15 years. Now there's a more durable alternative to help stop the suffering.

Stepping down into a pool is the closest 52-year-old Michael Postorino has come to working out in months, and he says it's torture. It wasn't always this way. "I would work out every day, either with running or Stairmaster, sometimes a treadmill," says Michael.

Then osteoarthritis crept into his right hip. A bike accident made matters worse. He says, "It started to scare me because everything started being real difficult to do." He needed a hip replacement.

Harry Steinman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Associates of West Florida in Clearwater, says, "The nerve endings are in that bone. So as soon as we have weight that comes across the hip, you can immediately sense that you have pain and the inability to place weight normally across the hips."

Since a traditional plastic implant would wear out within Michael's lifetime, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steinman used a new metal implant instead.

A cup with a metal lining is inserted into the pelvic socket. Then, the top of the thigh bone is replaced with a metal ball mounted on a long stem.

"The traditional implant has the problem of metal against polyethylene plastic," says Dr. Steinman. "The polyethylene, over time, wears away."

Steinman says the new metal implant should last 20 to 30 years, which means patients may avoid a second surgery.

After four weeks off his feet, Michael says he can't wait to start working out and coaching again. "I want to be able to play basketball with my kids, shoot around a little bit. They think they're better than me now, and I've got to show them they're not yet (laughs)."

The new implant may improve his mobility, but there's no guarantee it will improve his game.

Dr. Steinman says the metal-on-metal implant costs 10 to 15 percent more than a traditional hip replacement. He says when you compare that to the cost of redoing a hip later on, metal is a more economical investment.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Harry Steinman, M.D.
1528 Lakeview Road
Clearwater, FL 34616
Sulzer Medica

Back ] Up ] Next ]



The materials and information on this server are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The materials and information are not intended to replace the services of a trained health professional or to be a substitute for medical advice of physicians and/or other health care professionals. The International Still's Disease Foundation is not engaged in rendering medical or professional medical services. You should consult your physician on specific medical questions, particularly in matters requiring diagnosis or medical attention. The International Still's Disease Foundation makes no representations or warranties with respect to any treatment, action, application medication or preparation by any person following the information offered or provided within this website.  Any information used from other websites was done so with permission from each site, with an exception to those of "public domain", whereas we believe any site without a cited reference was a "public domain site" and for our use.  The International Still's Disease Foundation is a non-profit organization.   This page was last updated on January 17, 2001

CopyrightŠ 1999-2001 International Still's Disease Foundation