Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) taken regularly for six months after a knee or hip replacement seems to cut the risk of repeat surgery by around 40pc.
National data for England and Wales indicate that more than 2pc of procedures typically have to be repeated within three years, primarily because of osteolysis (75pc of cases).
Osteolysis occurs when particles from the implant seep into the surrounding tissue, prompting an inflammatory response, which then destroys the bone around the implant.
And joint replacement surgery rates are set to rise substantially as the population ages and the prevalence of obesity increases, say the authors in the 'Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases'.
The research team assessed the likelihood of repeat surgery among women who required a first knee or hip replacement between 1986 and 2006. The risk of repeat surgery was tracked in both sets of women for a minimum of three years.
Those who had taken HRT regularly for six months or more after their surgery were 38pc less likely to require repeat surgery than were those who had not done so. Furthermore, those who regularly took HRT for 12 months or more after their procedure were more than 50pc less likely to need further surgery during the three-year monitoring period.