Did you know that total hip replacement is one of the most successful medical procedures available today? In fact, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 450,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States alone.
However, a hip replacement prosthesis can only last so long – current research says around 20 years, if not longer, depending on the type of implant and the age and activity level of the patient. This means that, over time, it can fail for a variety of reasons, including:
- A loose implant: When the connection between the hip replacement implant and the surrounding bone separates or weakens, causing your hip joint or thigh to be painful with weight-bearing activities.
- A dislocated joint: In some cases, a hip replacement ball can come out of the socket, called a dislocation. This can sometimes occur due to muscle weakness, limited range of motion, and abnormal movements of the pelvis, hip, or spine.
- A hip joint infection: Although rare, infections in a hip replacement can occur, causing severe pain and the risk of implant failure or illness.
- Metal allergy: In the rare situation of a metal allergy or reaction to metal debris from the components of a hip replacement, your doctor might recommend hip revision surgery.
The Hip Revision Surgical Procedure
If or when a hip replacement fails, your doctor may recommend a second operation to remove some or all parts of the original prosthesis and have them replaced with new ones. That is what is known as a revision total hip replacement or revision total hip arthroplasty. If your first hip replacement occurs while you are relatively young, it is conceivable that you can require multiple hip replacements over the course of your life. If you are older and live a sedentary lifestyle that doesn’t require the heavy use of your hips, or you have significant health issues, you may not be an ideal candidate for a revision hip replacement. Each time you get this procedure done, it can become more complicated and riskier.
More so than your first total hip replacement, a revision hip replacement is a lengthier and more complex procedure requiring extensive planning and the use of specialized implants and tools to ensure a good result. During the procedure, the surgeon removes some or all of the existing hip replacement components and replaces them with new ones, a process that can be more complicated if you are older and have weaker bones. The complexity of a revision hip surgery depends on the condition of the original hip replacement and surrounding muscles and soft tissues, and other factors such as your age, implant design, and the risk of complications.
Before you undergo a revision hip replacement surgery, your doctor will conduct imaging and other tests to determine the extent of damage or wear and tear of the original implant, and to rule out infection. After reviewing the benefits and risks of this surgery, you and your doctor can decide whether it is a good option for you.
Hip Replacement Near You in Raleigh, North Carolina
If you are experiencing chronic hip pain, total hip replacement may be the best solution. If that is the case, however, it is important to seek the best orthopedic care. Dr. Brett J. Gilbert is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip replacement surgery. Utilizing the most up-to-date, advanced technology combined with his vast experience, Dr. Gilbert has helped countless patients resolve their painful symptoms and restore their mobility, allowing them to enjoy a better quality of life.
Don’t entrust your well-being to just anyone. Dr. Gilbert can assess your condition, offer a second opinion, and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment options.
To learn more, call our office today at (919) 788-8797 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilbert. Or, if you prefer, request an appointment online. Either way, we look forward to serving you.