Hip Replacement Revision Surgery

Surgeons perform hip revision surgery when problems occur with the original artificial hip. Such problems can include:

  • The prosthesis wears out
  • Infection occurs around the prosthesis
  • The prosthesis breaks
  • The prosthesis comes loose
  • The bone around the prosthesis breaks or fractures

Pain is the most common symptom indicating hip revision surgery might be needed.

Artificial hips are supposed to last between 20 and 25 years or even longer. But, revision surgery is sometimes needed before that time. One of the most common causes for hip revision surgery is wear of the implant surface and weakening of the surrounding bone.

Over time, this causes the hip prosthesis to loosen. The implant begins to wobble within the bone, causing pain and restricting the patient's range of motion.

In some cases, a hip implant will fail prematurely because it is defective. When this occurs, the patient will be eligible for financial compensation to pay for the medical costs, lost wages, decreased quality of life, and pain and suffering caused by revision surgery.

Revision Surgery Recovery Time

Hip revision surgery compared to the original hip prosthesis operation can be a more difficult procedure because of the loss of the patient's bone. It often has a less successful result than the original hip replacement operation. That is one reason why surgeons like to postpone revision surgery as long as is practical.

Recovery time after revision surgery will vary with every patient, but in general after about six months, patients should be able to walk without limping and without pain in their hip. During the recovery period, patients must learn to walk, sit, stand from a sitting position, climb stairs and perform such activities such as getting into a car.

Patients generally use a walker at first. About one-month after surgery, X-rays will be taken to monitor the progress of the healing.

Rehabilitation Following Revision Surgery

Rehabilitation following surgery is a long-term process that lasts about a year. Rehabilitation starts the day following surgery when the patient meets with a physical therapist. The therapist helps the patient learn what he or she can and cannot do at first, and teaches exercises to strengthen the hip. Patients need to learn how to:

  • Walk
  • Sit properly with legs elevated
  • Rise to a standing position
  • Climb stairs
  • Bathe
  • Dress
  • Perform household chores
  • Get into and out of a car
  • Bend
  • Stoop

Potential Complications of Hip Revision Surgery

According to the Los Angeles County Hip and Knee Institute, "revision surgery is much more complex and technically much more difficult than first-time surgery."

Implanting a second hip prosthesis is more complicated for numerous reasons, and the outcome for patients often is not as successful as the original surgery. Some of the reasons for the complications of revision surgery compared to the original surgery include:

  • The patient is usually older. This affects the quality of the bone remaining around the hip joint.
  • The quality of the bone around the joint affects how well the surgery can be done.
  • Older patients usually take longer to recover.
  • The operation takes longer than the original surgery.
  • There is more blood loss during the longer surgery.
  • A larger incision may be necessary.
  • The original prosthesis may be difficult to remove.
  • Part of the patient's own bone may need to be cut to remove the implant.
  • Bone grafts might be necessary from the patient's own body or from a bone bank.
  • The thigh bone might be fractured during the surgery, making extra procedures necessary to repair the bone.
  • Range of motion is possibly less than after the original implant surgery.
  • The risk of dislocation is higher during the first 12 weeks following revision surgery.
  • There may be a greater difference in leg length following revision surgery.

If you have a hip implant that has failed early, requiring you to undergo revision surgery, contact us to learn about your options. Hip replacement surgery, in general, is painful and takes time to recover from. A second surgery, due to a failed hip implant, is awful and the patient should be compensated for his/her pain and suffering, healing and recovering time, as well as the medical costs associated with surgery.

To schedule a free case review with an experienced defective hip implant lawyer, contact us today.

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