May 26th, 2014

Hip injury and prosthetic hip

Situation: A mid-20's British soldier in excellent physical condition gets caught in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2002, leaving him with a partly fractured hip and a lot of superficial damage across his hip and side (ending up in scars). The fracture isn't that bad so the doctors decide on a hip resurfacing (metal-on-metal) rather than a full hip replacement. After his recovery period our soldier returns to active service for two years, after which he turns to a life of crime - including the odd physical fight every now and then. He has the occasional little ache but nothing serious. About fifteen years after the explosion he suddenly starts getting serious trouble with his hip. Turns out the implant has run its course/there is some kind of other problem and they need to replace the partial prosthetic/need to go for a full replacement hip.

questions:

  • Would doctors choose to do a resurfacing, and would he still be able to/be allowed to continue in active service with a resurfaced hip in the first place?

  • What's the most likely problem with his hip after fifteen years? How would it manifest? (simply general pain or something more specific?)

  • What's the most likely scenario after fifteen years: a partial/resurfacing revision operation or replacing the entire hip?

  • How long would his recovery process be after the second operation? And would he be able to be as physically active as he was before?

researched:  Read through both the hip replacement and hip resurfacing wikipedia articles, googled "hip resurfacing" and "hip replacement" and checked various health websites and nhs-info. Most of the info tended to focus on elderly people, though. Googled blast injuries as well.