Hip replacement surgery is done to help patients live pain-free lives or correct severe diseases. It’s a very common procedure, and the success rate of hip replacement surgery has increased dramatically over the past several years.
However, there are many instances where patients might need to return to correct a previous surgery or even get a whole new replacement. Here are common reasons why patients need to have their hip replaced again.
Aseptic loosening is a problem where implants separate from a patient’s joints despite the joint not showing any signs of infection or physical trauma. It is also called prosthesis loosening. Studies show that aseptic loosening is the most common cause behind needing hip replacement revisions.
Unfortunately, there is very little data regarding the causes behind aseptic loosening, making it challenging to prevent.
Post-surgical infections are common complications that every orthopedic surgeon will look out for in total hip replacement patients. Sometimes, infections in another part of the body may travel to the surgical site and infect it. After any surgery, a healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. However, if a patient doesn’t take their full round of antibiotics, they may develop one. The patient may then need to undergo another surgery to treat the infection.
The following are common ways how bacteria enter the body:
- Wounds and other breaks in the skin
- Entry during invasive dental procedures, even minimally-invasive ones
- Through incisions made during major surgical procedures
Patients with underlying medical conditions are at risk of total hip replacement infection. Some conditions that place patients at risk include:
- Weakened immune system due to immune deficiencies, such as HIV or lymphoma
- Diabetes mellitus
- Poor blood circulation to the hands and feet due to a peripheral vascular disease
- Treatments that suppress the immune system, like chemotherapy or corticosteroids
Breaking of a Bone Around the Prosthesis
Hip replacement implants typically use the surrounding bones to anchor the prostheses. If the bone that supports the prostheses breaks, the prosthesis could get damaged or cause harm to the surrounding tissues.
In other cases, the prosthesis itself may breaks. It may be due to an accident, trauma, or normal wear and tear of the implant. In such a situation, the implant should be removed and replaced with a brand new one.
Repetitive Hip Dislocation
The hips are a ball-and-socket type of synovial joint. The ball (femur) must always be inside the socket (acetabulum) for the hip to function. Trauma and blunt force may lead to the ball being out of the socket and cause dislocation. If this occurs, especially after a total hip replacement, revision surgery must be performed.
Revision surgeries are often effective in preventing future dislocations. However, patients who have past dislocations are prone to having more dislocations in the future. As a result, it’s best to partake in regular physical therapy sessions to strengthen the surrounding tissues. As the tissues around the joint get stronger, they can help support the joint better.
Metallosis is a medical condition that develops when there is a toxic amount of metal present in the blood. Metal particles from an implant may shed over time due to rubbing and travel around in the bloodstream.
As the metal ions in the body build up, metallosis develops. The build-up may be in bones or surrounding tissues and muscles, and can lead to bone or tissue death, or pose other complications. Prolonged exposure to metal in the blood may affect the brain, eyes, and other organs in the body.
Metallosis is a severe condition. However, it’s rare and only occurs in approximately 5% of all patients. Still, it’s best to minimize the risks a patient faces after total joint replacement surgery. Many modern prosthetics use medical-grade plastics or ceramics instead of metal.
Hip Replacement Revision Surgery
If a patient is suffering from any of the problems above, they’ll need to see an orthopedic surgeon for a hip replacement revision surgery. Even if a patient experiences no conditions affecting their prosthetic, all prosthetics last for a limited time. Most last up to 15 years.
Hip replacement revisions are essentially the same as the initial replacement surgery. However, they might be slightly more challenging, depending on the condition of the surrounding bone and tissues.
Hip Replacement Clinics in Boynton Beach, FL
Hip replacement surgery can help resolve a significant number of problems in the hip joint, but sometimes, revision is inevitable. Your prosthetic replacement or the surrounding tissues can get damaged, or the prosthetic might wear out over time.
If you’re looking for a place to get your hip replaced, look no further than the Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Our highly-trained and board-certified physicians, together with our physical therapists, can help you from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you wish to know about us and our services, you can call us at (561) 733-5888. You can also secure an appointment by using our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!