Total Hip Replacement is a very successful surgery in the hands of an expert, but still there is no 100% guarantee. Every surgical procedure has risks and benefits. Individual results will depend on personal circumstances, and recovery takes variable time. How long your hip replacement will last depends on many different factors, and everyone is unique. Only your doctor can discuss this aspect of surgery with you.
Each of the following reactions or complications can occur during and after surgery and may require medical attention (such as further surgery) and sometimes revision surgery. Let’s know about various complications and risks of Hip Surgery.
Implant dislocation and leg-length difference
The most common complications specific to hip replacement surgery are- Hip dislocation when the ball of the thighbone (femur) slips out of its socket in the hip bone (pelvis) and a slight difference in leg length. Physiotherapy team will guide on what actions to be avoided.
Blood clots in the leg veins are a possible complication of hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon will outline a prevention program. This may include periodic elevation of your legs, lower-leg exercises to increase circulation, support stockings, and medication to thin your blood.
Infection is a risk with any surgical procedure. When infection occurs after total hip replacement, it is most commonly caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream during dental procedures, or from urinary tract, skin, or fingernail infections. Although uncommon, when these complications occur, they can delay full recovery.
For the first two years after your hip replacement, your doctor may require you to take preventive antibiotics before dental or surgical procedures that could allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Generally, talk to your orthopedist and your dentist to see if you still need preventive antibiotics before other procedures. Urinary infection is another common potential source of spread to the joint. Take plenty of oral fluids and treatment from urologist if any urinary infection.
The bone next to the hip implant may resorb (called osteolysis) because of your body’s reaction to particles that may be caused by:
- Direct contact of the metal and plastic components
- Contact between the hip components and the bone cement
- Contact between the hip components and your natural bone particles that exist between the hip’s moving parts, which can cause more particles or damage to the implant components
Implant or bone fracture has been reported following total hip replacement. This is typically caused by:
- Patients with very weak bones or on steroids
- Heavy and/or overweight patients
- Physically active patients
To minimize the possibility for fracture, it is important to follow medical instructions and to avoid excessive or inappropriate activity.
- Removal and/or replacement of the device system or its components may be necessary at some point in the future
- Although rare, metal-allergy reactions from hip implants have been reported. Inform your doctor if you have any allergy symptoms
- Dislocation can result from improper positioning of the implant components
- Implant components can loosen or move due to improper cementing or shock from falls or collisions
- Cardiovascular disorders associated with the use of bone cement include blood clots; decreased blood pressure; heart attack; and, in rare instances, death
- Your hip joint has been previously fused and is stable, functional, and painless
- You have rheumatoid arthritis and active/history of skin lesions (because of increased risk of infection)