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— BY MICHAEL ROIZEN, M.D., AND MEHMET OZ, M.D.

Q: I’m 67 and getting a total hip replacement, but I worry that when I’m in my 80s I might have to go through this all again, with a tougher recovery. What can I do to help make sure the implant lasts me a lifetime? -- Katie D., Brookings, South Dakota

A: The benefits of hip replacement can be amazing: Mobility is restored and pain can vanish. However, how long your implant will last depends on your age when the joint is replaced, the reason for the replacement (injury versus osteoporosis, for example), your overall health and the type of replacement. In the U.S., four types are approved, and none is metal on metal anymore (thank heavens!). They’re either metal or ceramic on plastic or a plastic lining, ceramic on metal or ceramic on ceramic.

A 2017 study in The Lancet reported that a 20-year follow-up of 63,158 people who had total hip replacement between Jan. 1, 1991, and Aug. 10, 2011, showed that the 10-year implant survival rate for the hip was almost 96 percent, and the 20-year rate was 85 percent. A brand-new paper in The Lancet found that surgeons can now expect “a hip replacement to last 25 years in around 58 percent of patients,” although some data sources indicate more than 76 percent lasted that long.

So you want to help protect your replacement? Here’s what to do:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess pounds speed wear and tear of replacement parts.

  2. If replacement is due to an illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis, make sure to get ongoing treatment for that condition, including medication.

  3. Avoid exercise, such as running, that can damage the implant. Walking, swimming, golf, hiking, biking, dancing and other low-impact sports are good alternatives.

  4. And, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, see your orthopedic surgeon periodically for routine follow-up exams and X-rays, even if your hip replacement seems to be doing fine.

Q: I’ve been taking blood pressure meds for two years, and at my last checkup I mentioned to my doctor that I also was taking potassium supplements to avoid cramping and using turmeric pills to ease joint pain. He pretty much read me the riot act for not saying something sooner. I didn’t think those add-ons were such a big deal. Did he overreact? -- Sam B., Columbus, Ohio

A: He did not overreact, and he may have prevented you from damaging your liver, kidneys and cardiovascular system. Potassium in high doses can cause heart palpitations, and high doses of turmeric can lower blood pressure -- dangerously so, adding to the effect of the anti-hypertensive medication you are taking. In addition, some turmeric pills from Asia have been found to have high doses of toxic metals, like lead and cadmium, as well as pesticide residues -- and there’s no way to know which are safe.

You’re not alone in your oversight. A recent meta-study out of Sydney, Australia, found that about one out of three patients using what researchers called “complementary medicines” don’t tell their docs about everything they have decided to take. It seems most folks believe complementary meds, including supplements and herbal medicines, won’t interfere with conventional treatment. Patients also said they didn’t think it mattered because they weren’t taking complementary meds regularly, or they kept quiet because they’d previously had a negative response from other docs.

Even the 67 percent of folks who said they knew they should tell their docs, well, they don’t always remember to!

Underreporting of meds is a problem worldwide, and with less face time being reported between docs and patients, it’s even more important that you be your own best health care advocate. So, to get the best care possible, discuss the complementary medicines you take or want to take with your doc. Talk with your pharmacist to learn about interactions between complementary and Food and Drug Administration-approved medications.

•••

(Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email your questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocsdaily(at sign)sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.)

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