Torbay woman has world's longest-lasting Exeter Hip replacement

Sandra Wraight, office and systems manager for hip research, with patient Maureen Brown

Sandra Wraight, office and systems manager for hip research, with patient Maureen Brown - Credit: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

A Torbay woman has had her hip replacement for 50 years – the longest-lasting Exeter Hip replacement in the world.

Maureen Brown, 80, from Torquay, had her hip replacement surgery in 1971 at Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Exeter.

The Exeter Hip is believed by many to be the 'industry gold standard' prosthetic stem for hip replacement and was developed in 1969 by surgeon Robin Ling and engineer Dr Clive Lee.

At the time of Maureen's surgery, patients were usually in hospital for several weeks to recover. This has now reduced to one or two nights in hospital with most cases discharged within 24 hours.

Maureen said: “I had no idea I had the longest-standing hip of its kind until they told me!

"I’ve never been known for anything and so it’s nice to be noted.

"I’d like to say thank you so much to the NHS staff for looking after me so well over the years.

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"The staff make such a difference after surgeries – how they look after you in hospital makes such a difference when you get home.”

Sandra Wraight from RD&E and patient Maureen Brown with surgeons from Exeter Hip Unit

Sandra Wraight, office and systems manager for hip research, and patient Maureen Brown with, from left, Exeter hip unit surgeons Matthew J Wilson, Matthew JW Hubble, Al-Amin M Kassam, Jonathan R Howell and John Charity with a bust of Professor Robin Ling, who co-developed the Exeter Hip - Credit: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

The Exeter Hip was developed in collaboration between RD&E surgeon Professor Robin Ling and University of Exeter engineer Professor Clive Lee, and has now been implanted in more than two million patients worldwide.

John Timperley, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The entire clinical and research team on the hip unit in Exeter congratulate Mrs Brown on the longevity of her hip and look forward to reviewing her in the routine follow-up clinic for years to come.

“The results of hip replacement have improved even further over the decades as surgeons - including the team in Exeter - have innovated and improved techniques.

"There is evidence now that 95 per cent of Exeter hips inserted today would last at least 25 years.”

Professor Janice Kay, Provost, University of Exeter, said: “Mrs Brown’s story is a wonderful example of the enduring quality of the Exeter Hip, and shows what university research and healthcare experts can achieve when working together.

"We’re so proud of the enduring global legacy of the Exeter Hip, and I trust it will serve Mrs Brown well for many more years, as well as benefitting millions more worldwide.”