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Goochy, Goochy, Goo: It's a Brand New Baby--and Hip Joint, Too!

Posted on: 11/30/1999
It used to be that women who had hip joint replacements were older and no longer likely to get pregnant. However, young women today with arthritis or hip defects from birth can also have hip joint replacements.

Can women who have this surgery have a successful pregnancy and delivery without damaging the new hip? Yes! With new technology and materials, younger women can have hip joint replacements and still have babies without harm to the hip.

Only a small number of younger women have had hip replacements. In the United States, 138,000 total hip replacements were done in 1996. Three thousand of these were done in women under 45 years of age. It is not known how many women become pregnant after hip replacement. Limited information collected on five women of childbearing age with total hip replacements is available. Women in this group were compared to another group of women in the same age range who had not had babies. A special type of hip joint that does not require cement was used for both groups.

Using the doctor's examination and X-rays, each woman in the first group was followed through one or more pregnancies. It seems that successful pregnancy with a normal birth can occur safely after a total hip replacement. In these women, the new hip was not affected by any of the pregnancies observed. In fact, there was no difference in results between women who had babies after the hip joint replacement and those who did not.

Cathy M. McDowell, RN, and Paul F. Lachiewicz, MD. Pregnancy After Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2001. Vol. 83-A. No. 10. Pp. 1490-1494.

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