Little Hip Squeaks

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

Medical reports about annoying hip noise
compiled by Bertha Vanatian, Improbable Research staff

Little Hip Squeaks
“Squeaking in Ceramic-on-Ceramic Hips: The Importance of Acetabular Component Orientation,” William L. Walter, William K. Walter, Andrew Ellis, and Bernard A. Zicat, Journal of Arthroplasty, vol. 22, no. 4, June 2007, pp. 496–503. The authors, at Sydney Hip and Knee Surgeons in Sydney, Australia, report:

Audible squeaking in total hip replacements with ceramic-on-ceramic bearings is a rare problem. Acetabular component orientation was compared for 17 squeaking hips and 17 matched controls…. Eight hips squeak with bending. Four hips squeak with walking, and 5 hips squeak after prolonged periods of walking…. The hips started squeaking after an average of 14 months. Patients with squeaking hips were younger, heavier, and taller than patients with silent hips.

(YouTube link

Lotsa Little Hip Squeaks
“High Incidence of Squeaking in THAs with Alumina Ceramic-on-Ceramic Bearings,” J.C. Keurentjes, R.M. Kuipers, D.J. Wever, and B.W. Schreurs, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, vol. 466, no. 6, 2008, pp. 1438–43. The authors, at Slingeland Hospital in Doetinchem, The Netherlands, report:

Squeaking, defined as a reproducible sound of squeaking, clicking, or grating, occurred in nine of 43 implants (20.9%)…. We found a high incidence of squeaking in our population, and we believe this phenomenon is an underreported side effect of these types of bearings.

Hip Squeaks Squawks: Yea!
“The Squeaking Hip: A Cause for Concern—Agrees,” A.S. Ranawat and C.S. Ranawat, Orthopedics, vol. 30, no. 9, September 2007, p. 738.

(YouTube link)

Hip Squeaks Squawks: Nay!
“The Squeaking Hip: A Cause for Concern—Disagrees,” Charlie C. Yang, Raymond H. Kim, and Douglas A. Dennis, Orthopedics, vol. 30, no. 9, September 2007, pp. 739–42. The authors explain:

While certainly an annoyance to patients, the long-term clinical sequelae of squeaking ceramic THAs is not known. In the majority of reports, the squeaking of ceramic THAs does not result in pain….


This article is republished with permission from the September-October 2011 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

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