Posted on Dec 18, 2020

McKenzie Mortuary Services

Hips, knees, and shoulders!

On October 5th I had a total hip replacement at age 53. I had pain periodically for the past 10 years. For generations, the men on my father's side of our family were having to use a cane by age 60. Genetics coupled with hip dysplasia and the unusually fast growth spurts in our teens (I'm the shortest at 6'2" while my father stands at 6'7") seemed to be the same story for generations.

What does my personal physical body have anything to do with the mortuary field you might ask. When a death occurs and a family chooses Cremation, the authorization for cremation asks about implanted devices. Our only concern is a pacemaker. A pacemaker has a battery within the unit just under the skin usually located on the upper left side of the chest. I have to remove the pacemaker prior to cremation as the battery within the device is explosive under heat.
When I explain this process to the deceased's family I usually will hear something along the lines of “ mom had an artificial hip, so you are going to take that out too?" Replacement joints stay with the deceased during the cremation process and then are disposed of by biohazard means. Over my years, a few families actually had asked to personally keep the implant. Depending on the energy or sense of humor, I have asked families why they would like the implant. One woman was humorous enough to say, “I’m going to make a lamp out of it!” -true story
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