Here’s what you need to know about revision hip replacement surgery

Total hip replacement is a common surgical treatment solution for people experiencing hip pain and immobility. Many elderly patients who receive a hip replacement retain that prosthesis for life. Some patients, particularly those who had surgery at a younger age, may require one or more revision hip replacements to allow them to continue to live a physically active lifestyle.

There are a number of reasons why you might need revision surgery for a hip replacement, including:

  • The wearing of your artificial hip joint.
  • Infection in your hip.
  • Dislocation of the ball from the socket in your new hip joint.
  • A broken bone or fracture occurring around the artificial joint, such as in the femur.

The likelihood of someone needing a revision hip replacement is dependent on the individual. Patients who live an active lifestyle, hold excessive body weight, have certain medical conditions or have had certain surgical procedures in the past may experience an increased likelihood of implant wear or infection.

How does revision hip replacement surgery work?

A revision hip replacement involves removing your current hip replacement and replacing it with a new hip prosthesis. In some cases only some parts of the prosthesis need to be replaced, while in others the whole hip joint will be replaced and the surrounding bone may require rebuilding or grafting.

Revision hip replacement surgery takes longer than your initial surgery. Your surgeon will follow the incision of your initial surgery and examine the surrounding tissue, bone and the artificial hip joint itself to see the requirements of your revision surgery. Your surgeon will carefully remove the prosthesis to preserve as much bone as possible, prepare the bone surfaces for your new hip joint and insert the specialised revision implants.

If there is bone loss in the surrounding areas of the hip, your surgeon will use metal augments or bone grafts to provide a surface for the prosthesis to be secured to.

How long does recovery from revision hip replacement take?

While recovery from a revision hip replacement can take longer than your initial hip replacement surgery, the process is similar. You will be able to go home from the hospital five to ten days after surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to help you manage your pain, advise a range of physical therapy exercises to help you ease into moving your new hip, and suggest you use crutches or a walking stick until you feel comfortable walking without assistance.

Most patients make a good recovery from revision hip replacement surgery. It’s important that you follow your surgeon’s advice to help support your new hip’s recovery.

Dr Stuart MacKenzie, one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley uses advanced robotic technology to perform hip replacement surgery. He has created a free specialist e-guide - Your complete guide to hip replacement – to help you better understand the procedure.

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2 Sep 2019

Published by Stuart MacKenzie

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