What are the Risks of Hip Replacement?

Risks of Hip Replacement SurgeryHip replacement surgeries have been successfully performed for more than thirty years. For patients suffering from acute arthritis that cannot be treated by non-invasive treatments such as physical therapy and medications, this surgery is performed as a last resort. However, certain complications may occur in less than 1% of patients. In such cases, further surgery and implant correction may be needed. The following are possible risks after a hip replacement surgery.

1. Leg Length Discrepancy

During surgery, the surgeon has to cut the abductor tendons which keep the joint firm. In other words, he destabilizes the joint to some extent. Sometimes, he also increases the leg length to put more tension on the abductor tendons and reduce the risk of dislocation. Although the surgeon does his best to avoid any discrepancies, some patients feel that one of their legs is slightly longer than the other after surgery. This condition is more prevalent in women.

2. Joint Dislocation

Added pressure in some positions may cause dislocation or loosening of the implant. Generally, patients are advised to not bend over more than 90 degrees after the surgery. In other cases, insufficient pressure on the abductor tendons may cause the hip joint to come out of the socket. This usually occurs within a few months of the surgery while the joint is still healing. The doctors may recommend further surgery to correct the dislocation.

3. Infection

There is always a risk of some bacteria entering the tissue around the artificial hip joint and triggering an infection. Symptoms include swelling, redness and liquid discharge near the incision. Some patients may have fever with chills. They should contact the surgeon immediately if there signs of a hip joint becoming infected.

4. Blood Clots

Blood clots in leg veins are another possible complication after a hip replacement. They could be potentially dangerous as they may hinder the blood circulation to heart, lungs or even to the brain. A surgeon may prescribe blood-thinning medication and leg exercises to increase the blood flow.

Kurt Hirshorn MD of St Pete Hip and Knee guarantees expertise and compassion when caring for his patients, and ensures a good hospital stay. Schedule an appointment today or call us at (727) 755-0313.

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4600 4th Street North
St Petersburg, FL 33703, USA
Phone: (727) 755-0313

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