Total Hip Replacement is a procedure done to get rid of the damaged hip joints and cartilage by replacing them with prosthetic devices. It has been proven that the risk for complications in hip replacement are relatively low but they do exist and usually occur after the operation when the patient is no longer under close medical attention.
Common Complications in Total Hip Replacement
- Blood clots can be formed and can travel along the bloodstream with dangers of reaching the lungs (pulmonary emboli). Aspirin and other medications with similar mechanism of action is given to the patient for prevention.
- The surgical wound may be an entry for bacteria which could potentially lead to infection of the wound and the joints. Hygiene should be strictly observed when dealing with the wound and it should be checked by the doctor regularly. Although rare in healthy individuals, the most commonly affected are those with underlying diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic liver disease and people who are under corticosteroids. The implants can also be a long-term cause of infection. Antibiotics are usually given to patients especially if they have to undergo procedures like dental works.
- Since the prosthetic devices appear to be smaller than the normal joints, they can easily dislodge from their original spot when in a certain type of position. Your doctor will instruct you of the things to avoid especially in positioning such as taking your knees to your chest. A body brace may be worn to avoid dislocation.
- Heterotopic ossification is the term for this condition. This can limit the person’s range of motion and surgery has to be done if the limitation can be a hindrance to his/her everyday activities.
- This doesn’t usually show signs unless it is severe and can only be identified with X-ray tests. A revision surgery or another hip replacement will be necessary to repair this condition. This is the most common complaint of individuals who were able to have a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement device as their implant and now filing for a "Pinnacle lawsuit".