Hip Replacement Complications
Close to 200,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States. Over 90% are successful with no hip replacement complications during or after surgery. But as with all surgeries, the risk of complications is always a possibility. However, complications are infrequent and often reversible.
The older the person is the higher the risk of complications. A person over 80 years old has a 20% chance of developing at least one complication after hip replacement surgery…
Hip replacement complications during surgery
Nerve damage : –
The sciatic nerve is at risk of being accidentally surgically cut due to its close proximity to the capsule of the hip joint. This same nerve may also become over-stretched during hip manipulation during surgery….
Vascular damage : –
The damage involves direct trauma to the blood vessels in the area of the surgery. The damaged blood vessel can be repaired by a vascular surgeon if it is caught in time….
Femur fracture : –
Force is applied during the surgical procedure. This can result in a femoral shaft fracture, especially in older or osteoporotic patients. Again, the problem is addressed during surgery, but may lead to extended rehabilitation. The surgeon may place weight bearing restrictions while you are walking…
Leg length discrepancy : –
In some cases, it may be difficult to get the exact same leg lengths. The result is usually a longer leg on the surgical hip. It may be unavoidable and deliberate in order to improve muscle function or stabilize the hip. If there is more than a quarter of an inch difference, a shoe lift may be necessary…
Anesthetic complications : –
Complications can occur, and in rare cases even death. Your anesthesiologist will explain the risks involved prior to your surgery…
Hip replacement complications after surgery
Blood clots (DVT-deep vein thrombosis) : –
This is one of the most common complications after hip replacement. The most common area is in the calf. Increased leg pain is usually the most obvious symptom. Redness around the area of the clots may also occur. It’s a minor problem if the clots stay in the leg. But if they dislodge, they can reach the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and can possibly result in death (very rarely)…
Infection : –
Infection can occur during surgery or develop afterwards. It is one of the most serious risks to the joint replacement. If the infection settles deep into the joint and surrounding tissues, the new joint often has to be removed until the infection clears with treatment. If the patient develops an infection elsewhere in the body (bladder, teeth, chest), it must be controlled to prevent the possibility of it spreading through the blood to the new joint…
Hip dislocation : –
The first six weeks after hip replacement is the most vulnerable time for your new hip. During this period, muscle tension is the only thing holding the metal ball in the socket. If the metal ball slips out of the socket, it’s dislocated. As the hip muscles regain their strength and scar tissue forms around the ball, the risk of hip dislocation diminishes…
Traditional hip replacement requires that certain precautions be taken and some positions/movements are restricted, at least for the first 6 weeks. Your surgeon and physical therapist will instruct you in your hip precautions. Basically, the..
precautions are : –
Do not turn your toes inward
Do not cross you legs
Do not bend your hip more than 60-90 degrees (when sitting, your knee should not Be level with your hip, it should be lower)
Trochanteric problems : –
Your greater trochanter, a large boney part of your femur, is located below and to the outside of the ball of your hip joint. Many of your large hip muscles anchor on the trochanter, so it’s essential for normal hip function…
Bowel complications : –
Constipation frequently occurs for the first week or so after surgery. This can be caused by medication, immobility, loss of appetite, not drinking enough fluids. Stool softeners or enemas may be needed…
Urinary problems : –
A catheter may be inserted during surgery. Your doctor will order its removal as soon as is practical, as catheters pose an increased risk of urinary infection…
Hematoma formation : –
During surgery, the main areas of bleeding are controlled by cauterization. But some oozing of blood and fluids still occurs, so a drain is attached from the wound to the outside of the body. If the drain does not work as planned, a collection of blood and fluids forms in the hip area. This can cause pain, pressure, and possible infection. Your surgeon may take you back to surgery to drain the hematoma…
Loosening of the prosthesis : –
The harder your bones are, the longer your hip replacement will last. Hard bones create a stronger bond. People with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis are more at risk….
Pressure sores : –
In the immediate days after your hip replacement, you may be spending quite a bit more time in bed. Spending a long period of time in one position can lead to pressure sores. Your heels, especially on your surgery leg, are very susceptible. A pillow or towel roll under your calves will float your heels and relieve pressure…
Blood transfusion complications : –
All blood intended for use in transfusions is screened for Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, syphilis, Human T Cell Leukemia virus, and the AIDS virus. But infections still occur…
About hip revision surgery : –
Most people who undergo hip replacement surgery will never need to replace their artificial joint. But because more and more people are having hip replacements at a younger age, the wearing away of the joint surface can create problems…
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