What You Need to Know about Revision Total Hip Replacement
Revision total hip replacement is a procedure that is sometimes necessary after a hip replacement if the parts of the artificial joint begin to encounter complications.
What is a revision total hip replacement?
For those who suffer from severe arthritis in the hip, a primary total hip replacement is often recommended as a safe, effective procedure that can offer significant pain relief. In some cases, however, they can lead to complications or can deteriorate over time. A revision total hip replacement is a surgical procedure to replace components of the artificial joint that have suffered damage following a primary total hip replacement.
In this procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will evaluate the extent of the damage and determine how much of the artificial joint should be removed and replaced. In more severe cases, the surgeon may need to remove surrounding damaged bone or tissue to secure the new implant and preserve the integrity of the hip joint.
What can cause a primary hip replacement to fail?
Although hip replacements are often effective treatments for severe hip arthritis, in some cases they can lead to complications. There are a variety of potential causes of failed hip replacements, including
Loosening of the implant that forms the artificial joint
Over time, the prosthetic that was implanted to replace the original hip joint suffers wear and tear. Normal activity and aging can affect the integrity of the prosthetic, often leading to loosening of the implant from the bone. The artificial ball of the joint can also loosen from its socket, which can cause considerable pain in the hip.
Loosening can occur for a variety of reasons. Most implants last around 10-15 years, which means that those who undergo a primary hip replacement earlier in life have a higher risk of later needing a revision surgery to re-secure the joint. Frequent physical activity that strains the hip joint can also lead to a higher risk of loosening.
A condition called osteolysis can occur, which means that the surrounding bone begins to degenerate, which can contribute to implant loosening. Hip injuries, such as fractures, can also cause instability or loosening in the joint if the bone surrounding the implant is compromised.
With surgery, comes the risk of infection. Although precautions are taken to ward off infection, some patients will develop infections as a result of bacteria entering into the body and affecting the artificial hip joint. In some cases, the infection can interfere with the implant and can lead to loosening or instability in the joint.
A revision total hip replacement can clean out the joint and replace any components that may have suffered damage from the infection. In some cases, the joint may need to be completely replaced if the infection was particularly severe or damaging. Revision surgery can then help alleviate the pain and danger of an infection following a hip replacement.
Frequent joint dislocation
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint where both components must fit together securely to allow for smooth movements. Sometimes after a hip replacement, the prosthetic components can dislocate, meaning the ball dislocates from its position in the socket. If this continues to happen following your hip replacement, then a revision surgery may be necessary to better secure the ball and socket of the implant in place.
What does recovery from a revision total hip replacement look like?
Recovery from a revision total hip replacement looks very similar to recovery from the primary total hip replacement. It may take longer to recover from revision surgery, but much of the process will look the same. Your doctor may recommend some of the following to manage your pain and improve your mobility.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or prescription pain medications to relieve pain
- Physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the affected hip
- Using assistive devices like walkers, canes, or crutches to help you get around
After your revision surgery, you should be able to expect reduced pain, increased joint stability, and better hip functioning.
Revision total hip replacement at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants
We at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants are committed to offering innovative treatments that help relieve your pain and give you your life back. Our orthopaedic specialists and surgeons care about your health and quality of life and are prepared to help you find the best course of treatment to combat hip arthritis.
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Only a doctor can tell you if you have this ailment. This is for informational purposes and should not be used in lieu of a doctor’s opinion.