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It takes about a week for the cement to become fixed. In that time the patient is expected not to engage in movements that would dislocate the new joint. They are given special advice on how to sleep (on their backs) and told not to cross their legs. Care must be exerted during this period in conducting such movements as getting in and out of a bathtub. Recent research indicates that when the candidates for hip replacement surgery perform the rehabilitation exercise before the surgery the rate of recovery time is significantly reduced.

While hip joint replacements have proven to be very successful there is a problem of the cement loosening after an extended period of time. Research is being done for designs that do not rely as much on the use of cements. Hip replacements are usually not advised for those under 50 because of the unknown long-term effects, especially with the use of cement. Younger patients, however, are now considering cementless artificial hips as an alternative to the conventional procedures that do use cement. The newer technique that does not use cement takes longer, but some orthopedists believe the procedure offers better long-term results.

These newer types of hip replacements are of special interest to athletes in need of relief from hip pain. Athlete Bo Jackson returned to play with the Chicago White Sox after an operation that replaced his left hip.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Propagation to Quantum electrodynamics (QED)Prosthetics - Artificial Limbs, Effectiveness, Hip Replacement, Recovery, Knee Joint Replacement, Wrist And Finger Implants - Arthroplasty, Implanted prosthetic materials