The main reason for revision of a hip replace is the loosening of old implants which can occur slowly over years, with the prosthesis hip joint becoming increasingly painful over time.
While total hip replacement is one of the most successful orthopaedic operations, after a period of 10 – 15 years it can show signs of loosening and therefore must be revised.
Revision hip replacement procedures are very variable, depending on the problem and the requirements of the operation. In general, revision is complex and technically more demanding than ‘first time’ hip replacements and is associated with a higher risk of complications. Revision hip replacement often involves the removal of failed implant(s) and insertion of new components.
Revision total hip replacement takes longer than a standard total hip replacement and has a slightly higher complication rate. The prosthesis may also not last as long as a primary hip replacement. Surgery is usually performed through the same incision but may need some extension.
In the first six week after a Hip Replacement of Revision Hip Replacement you should avoid:
- Flexing your hip over 90 degrees. Use high chairs to sit on.
- Crossing your legs.
- Lying on the operated side but you may be able to lie on the opposite side provided you have a pillow between your legs.
Revision surgery comes with a few disadvantages:
- The original component needs to be removed and new components put in its place, making for a longer surgery.
- Longer incisions are often needed.
- There is greater blood loss and post-operative pain.
- Older patients’ health and strength may compound problems.
Long-term results are typically excellent. However, complications are a little more frequent than with the original surgery. For patients who are young when they undergo a hip replacement, revision surgery is almost inevitable. However, the newer materials available seem to improve the overall life span of the artificial joint, lessening the number of necessary revisions.