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Celebrated dancer Wayne Sleep was in a quandary. Having agreed
to play an Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the Royal Opera House a year before, he
was now struggling even to get his socks on...
...‘My dresser had to help me with everything,’ says Wayne,
...‘I needed a hip replacement, with the operation booked in for January, but it
would give me just 12 weeks to recover before the opening night of Cinderella in
April. I didn’t know whether or not I should tell the directors....
...At 5ft 2in, Wayne is the shortest male dancer ever accepted
into the Royal Ballet, which he joined in 1966...
Ceramic materials used in total hip replacements have nothing to
do with china or pottery ceramics.
This is a class of material called surgical-grade ceramic (oxide ceramics) which
are closely packed, compressed crystals of aluminum or zirconium oxides (an
oxide is a compound that contains oxygen). They are very smooth and very hard,
so resistant to scratching...
The only substance harder than aluminum oxide is diamond. A ceramic hip
replacement should last at least 15 years...
‘The following day I was up on crutches. It was extraordinary -
the pain from my back, groin and knee had also disappeared as soon as I’d had
the operation. It was like a miracle.’
...Miss Muirhead-Allwood, who is consultant orthopedic surgeon
and hip specialist at Princess Grace and founder of The London Hip Unit,
explains why she gave Wayne a total hip replacement with a ceramic implant
rather than carry out hip resurfacing, in which the ball of the femur is
resurfaced rather than the entire head of the femur being replaced.
‘Wayne has a very small skeleton and resurfacing has a higher failure rate for
those with smaller frames as there is not enough bone under the small cap to
support it,’ she says.
‘We are using more ceramic implants as they have the lowest wear and failure
rate as opposed to traditional metal and plastic hip replacements. The downside
is that it could actually break, but this happens very rarely.’