Metal-on-plastic hip replacement
During a hip replacement your damaged hip joint will be replaced with an artificial ball and socket. The bearing surface of this ball and socket can be made from a number of different materials, including a metal ball and a plastic (polyethylene) cup.
The combination of a metal-on-plastic prosthesis has been used for many years, and is still used for most NHS hip replacements today. It provides a durable implant that can withstand most lifestyles and activities, and importantly it has a long history of providing a reliable outcome.
The disadvantage of a metal-on-plastic implant is that over time the metal ball can wear down the plastic lining as the two continually rub together. This can cause the plastic lining to disintegrate and shed particles of polyethylene, which your body then identifies as a foreign object and attacks.
This can result in pain and inflammation, and eventually you will need to have your implant replaced. This involves a second operation known as hip revision surgery. An alternative, longer-lasting implant, which can delay or avoid the need for revision surgery is a ceramic-on-ceramic prosthesis.
Despite newer, more advanced hip implants, a metal-on-plastic prosthesis will still provide you with a good result, and it is a more affordable alternative to a ceramic hip replacement. It can also be a good option for less active patients, who are unlikely to experience significant wear to their implant.
During your consultation, Mr Nirav Shah will go through your implant choices in detail and recommend the prosthesis that’s best suited to your lifestyle.