My hip replacement was done in 1995, and seems to still be fine, but I know they only have a certain life.
Here is a table that indicates the typical longevity of a hip prosthesis based on age at operation and type of fixation:
As you can see from the table in the above link, older, less active people are less hard on their fake joint and therefore more likely to still have the functional implant 25 years later. On the other hand, the youngest hip replacement patients (defined as under 50 at operation) are less likely to still have a functioning joint at 25 years, probably due in part to the fact that younger people (especially males) are more active and can be particularly hard on their hips. The other table indicates a slight difference in longevity based on type of fixation (cemented vs. non-cemented) over a 10-yr period.
What may change future results is the increased use of more durable materials for the bearing – namely ceramic/ceramic and metal/metal. Both of these bearings generate far fewer wear particles than the old metal/poly combination which has been the standard for many years. The reason: wear particles may cause osteolysis of the bone which in turn can cause loosening of the prosthesis and require revision surgery. C/C or M/M bearings generate far fewer particles, hence the hope that the prosthesis will last longer. Time will tell in all of this, of course. And no one can predict with certainty how long an implant will last. But cautious educated guesses are possible based on past results. Some are concerned about M/M bearings and problems with metal ions in the body. And, osteolysis isn’t the only reason for failure of an implanted hip.
For more information on wear rates of different materials and loosening:
Incidentally, the website http://totaljoints.info has been developed by an ortho surgeon as a service to patients. It has all sorts of information and I recommend it to all who have or are contemplating a hip (or knee) replacement. It appears in (slightly fractured) English translation. Some of the data cited has been compiled from the Swedish hip registry – they have tracked every hip replacement performed in that country and the data that it reveals is very informative. I wish the US had such a registry. We could learn a lot.
Anyhow, it’s good news that your hip still is functioning well. Take care of it and it will likely last you a long time. I’ve had my two hip replacements for over 5 years and I expect to have them for many more.