Complications of hip replacement

It’s worth remembering that Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Having said that – as with all major operations – there is a risk of complications. In most cases, these are minor and temporary, but they can sometimes be serious and very occasionally life threatening.

Before entering into hip replacement surgery, you will have a thorough consultation with our surgeon, Jeremy Latham. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will also discuss any complications of hip replacement surgery with you before your operation.

What are the risk factors?

High blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes can increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke after surgery.

Complications of hip replacement

  • The most common complications are bruising near or oozing from the wound. The leg can also remain swollen for several weeks after surgery.
  • Blood clots

Occasionally a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis DVT) can develop. The treatment for DVT is warfarin, an anticoagulant, which is taken for several months. On very rare occasions a DVT can travel to the lungs (a pulmonary embolism), which can cause collapse and occasionally death, but the risk of this happening is very low (approximately 1 in 1000). We take lots of precautions to reduce the risk.

  • Deep infection

This happens in a very small number of cases (0.5%) and can require further surgery. Sometimes we will need to remove some or all of the components of the hip replacement to clear the infection.

  • Dislocation

If you twist your hip excessively or have a fall, it is possible to dislocate your hip. This is painful to correct and so requires a general anaesthetic. Sometimes we may also need to do another operation to sort out the problem. The risk of dislocation is low (0.5%) and becomes much lower beyond the six-month mark.

  • Damaged nerves

The sciatic nerve can become injured during the operation, resulting in permanent pain and weakness in the leg. The risk of this happening is very low (0.02%).

  • Leg length

It is possible for your leg to be shortened or lengthened after hip surgery and you might need an insole to compensate for this. The risk of this happening is low (1%).

Talk to a surgeon

If you would like to discuss the possible complications of hip replacement with a surgeon, please contact Jeremy Latham.

 

If you would like to discuss your hip treatment options with Jeremy Latham please get in touch…
For appointments & Enquiries
Jeremy Latham
Hip Surgeon


Tel:
02380 914483
Fax:
02380 914483
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Types of treatments available at Latham Hip Surgery
  • Treatments
  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Tens of thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s now an established technique, and the results are usually excellent in carefully selected patients…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s a relatively new technique, but the results are usually excellent…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more