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There is very little to no data available for runners who undergo hip replacement surgery and the long-term outcomes from that surgery. There are many anecdotal stories about someone we know or heard of in the community who had a hip replacement and continued running for many years before having a revision or RIP – being outlived by their prosthetic.

Runners put pressure on the medical industry to improve materials, procedures and surgical skills by being active; however, to correlate improvements in outcomes, we need data collection.

Currently, there are surgeons who recommend that patients stop running altogether and find other forms of exercise to stay fit like cycling, swimming, hiking, walking and low-impact team sports. There are other surgeons who promote running post-surgery! They too, need more data.

Let’s face it, running is the most effective form of exercise to develop cardiac efficiency, improve general health results and promote weight loss when needed. Unless you have access to cross-country skiing (the other number one way to get fit), running is it. There is also pool running, elliptical machines and other equipment available to mimic running’s benefits, but nothing compares to the great outdoors.

So with that being said, baby boomers and now the following generation in their 30s, 40s and early 50s are putting demands on the medical community to improve procedures and outcomes by staying active eschewing the sofa for the trails, roads, tracks and mountains.

AthleticsIllustrated.com in partnership with HipRunner.com now have a survey available to measure results of hip replacement surgery and life with the prosthetic. If you or someone you know has had hip replacement surgery, please have them fill out this survey>>

The data that is available

To date, more than seven million Americans have had knee or hip replacement surgery. In 2015 alone, there were 427, 000 hip and knee replacements done from 612 US hospitals by 3,170 surgeons according to the American Joint Replacement Registry. Not all hospitals or surgeons in the US participate in the registry – though, almost all do.

According to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, 56,000 Canadians had hip and 67,000 had knee replacements during 2016 and 2017. The numbers are similar in the UK, continental Europe and Australia and New Zealand.

Approximately 1% have hip resurfacing, 10% partial arthroplasty and 10% have a re-do or revision. Fifty-seven percent of patients are women and 43% are men. In Canada, the revision rates are similar to the US at 8.3% for hip and 7.1% for knee.

According to the registry’s report, 87% of knee replacements are due to osteoarthritis, whereas 70% of hip replacement surgery operations are done to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Ten per cent of the time, the surgery is done to repair a fracture.

Managing editor, Christopher Kelsall after hip replacement. Photo credit Joseph Camilleri

With the Canadian registry, there is a breakdown of why revisions are done, but not the cause of that breakdown. For example “Aseptic loosening” is the number one reason for a hip replacement revision. Six-hundred and 97 or 29.5% of revisions are due to this. Aseptic loosening is the failure of bond between an implant and bone in the absence of infection.

Aseptic loosening, for example, is an outcome that the medical industry will want to look at to lessen the percentage of revisions. Let’s help them understand the demands that active people put on their prosthetics so that the medical industry can produce better products and procedures.

Assist in the data collection by filling out this short survey at Hiprunner.com