Hip Replacement Implants Comparison

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Last Modified: September 13, 2019  |   Created on: November 15, 2017
Implant, Orthopedics

The success of hip replacement surgery depends on a number of factors. One of the leading factors is the quality of the hip implant used during the surgery.

There are different hip replacement prosthesis types available in the healthcare industry today. These implants basically differ with respect to the type of material used to create them. The surgeon selects the best hip replacement device for a patient depending on his or her individual needs, age, specific abnormality or defect in the hip, and personal preference.


Below are the details of the major implant material pros and cons that the surgeon typically considers while choosing right prosthesis device for a patient.

Metal or ceramic on plastic implant

These are the most commonly used hip implants. In this type of implant, the socket and the ball are replaced with metal or ceramic and a plastic spacer is placed between these two parts of the hip joint.

  • Pros of metal or ceramic on plastic implant
  • Wear-resistant
  • Does not degrade easily
  • Fits snugly into the bone
  • Long-lasting
  • Cons of metal or ceramic on plastic implant
  • Implants with cheap plastic may wear out

Consult an Orthopedic Surgeon

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Metal on Metal Implant

A large metal ball at the top of the pelvis is attached to a metal socket placed in the pelvis. The metal component is usually made up of cobalt chrome or titanium.

  • Pros of metal on metal implant
  • Increased stability
  • More durable than metal on plastic implants
  • Low wear rate
  • Cons of metal on metal implant
  • Soft tissues around joint may get degraded
  • Increased concentration of metal ions in the blood

The selection of an implant for hip replacement in younger patients depends on several factors. Usually, a ceramic on ceramic implant is preferred over metal on plastic implants for patients aged below 40.

Ceramic on Ceramic Implant

In this type of implant, both the components are made up of ceramic material.

  • Pros of ceramic on ceramic implant
  • Increased stability
  • Smoother
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Most resistant to wear
  • Cons of ceramic on ceramic implant
  • Some implants are prone to breakage
  • An audible squeak may result

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are titanium hip replacements made?
Titanium hip replacements consist of two components – the ball and the socket. Titanium is a durable and light metal, which is given the shape of the natural hip joint for replacement. Titanium implants are most commonly used in people who are allergic to implants containing nickel.

Q: What kind of metal is used in hip replacement?
Titanium and cobalt chrome (which contains nickel) are most commonly used to create metal on metal or metal on plastic implants. Usually, the use of cobalt chrome is preferred over titanium because the former can be given a better polished finish for smooth motion.

Q: What is a ceramic hip replacement?
A: Ceramic hip replacement involves the use of a relatively newer type of implant, which is made up of alumina ceramics. It could be a ceramic on ceramic implant or a ceramic on plastic implant. Ceramic implants offer greater wear resistance and smooth movement of the joint.

Q: How much is a titanium hip?
A hip replacement surgery with a ceramic implant may cost around $6000 in India. On the other hand, the same surgery may cost around $40000 in the US and $10000 in the UK.

Q: What is the best material to use for hip replacement?
The use of metal on plastic implants is preferred because of the associated advantages. The use of ceramic implants is gaining popularity because it is highly resistant to scratches and natural wear and tear.

Q: How long do hip implants last?
High-quality implants last for at least 10 to 20 years.

Q: What hip implants have been recalled?
Metal on metal implants were recalled in the US because of the problems associated with it. These implants are known to release metal ions in the body, which may accumulate in the blood over a period of time. This may trigger a number of diseases, including cancer. It has also been associated with accumulation of metallic debris that may damage the soft tissues surrounding the joint.

Dr. Surbhi Suden

Written By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.

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