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Hip Replacement and its Complications

hip replacement

Total hip replacement in India is performed to replace the damaged bone and cartilage with prosthetic components. It is performed on patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, and hip pain that limits everyday activities, interferes with sleep, and worsens while walking.



  • Blood clots: It is the most common and serious complication related to hip replacement surgery. The blood clot can form in leg veins after surgery, which is called deep vein thrombosis and manifests as leg swelling with calf tenderness. It can metastasize to your lung, which is then called a pulmonary embolus. Fast heart rate and shortness of breath are the signs of pulmonary embolus. Following physical therapy after surgery decreases the risk of blood clots. In addition, patients are prescribed blood-thinning medications after surgery to minimize the risk of blood clots.
  • Infection: Various types of infection can occur at the site of incision or deeper tissues. Most infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics, but major infections near prostheses may require surgery. People with diabetes, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, sickle cell disease, blood clotting disorder are at risk of infection. The risk decreases as the wound heals, but it is never eliminated. Antibiotics are often prescribed by hip replacement surgeons in Delhi after any invasive procedure to prevent the risk of infections.
  • Dislocation of the Hip: When the hip joint is dislocated, the prosthetic ball comes out of its socket. It can be placed back into the socket without surgery, but it does require anesthesia. It is seen more in females, people who had previous hip surgery, have weak muscles surrounding the hip, have poor hip stability due to osteonecrosis, inflammatory arthritis. Patients are advised to avoid certain movements to prevent dislocation. If the hip keeps dislocating, the hip replacement surgeon in Delhi might do surgery to stabilize it.
  • Fracture: During surgery, the healthy portions of the hip joint or the femur might fracture. Some fractures are small enough to heal. Some are larger and may need to be stabilized with wires, screws, metal plates, or bone grafts. Femur fracture often requires further surgery.
  • Change in leg length: The hip replacement surgeon in Delhi tries his/her best to avoid this complication, but a new hip occasionally makes one leg longer or shorter than the other. It is sometimes caused by muscle contraction around the hip. In such a case, progressive strengthening of the muscles might help. Small differences in length can be covered with special shoe inserts. The affected leg might initially feel longer.
  • Loosening: This complication is less with newer implants. The new joint might not become solidly fixed to your bone or might loosen over time, causing pain in the hip and poor joint biomechanics. In such a case, surgery is done again to fix the problem. The risk of prosthesis loosening increases over time. 
  • Nerve damage: Rarely, nerves in the implant area can be injured. It manifests itself as numbness, weakness, and pain.
  • Death: Total hip replacement in India is a major surgery, and complications like blood clots and infection can be life-threatening.
  • Heterotropic ossification: When bone grows in soft tissues such as muscles or tendons. It can grow three times faster than normal bone growth and causes pain around artificial hips due to jagged edges.
  • Metallosis: It is a rare and fatal condition due to the build-up of metallic debris in the body’s soft tissue. It is associated with metal on the metal hip implant, which causes tissue death around the artificial hip and leads to implant loosening.
  • Osteolysis: Debris from the wear of artificial hips accumulates in surrounding tissue. The debris causes inflammation which destroys bone and loosens the hip implant.
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The total hip replacement in India has its pros and cons and its variety of complications. The surgeons in Delhi try their best to avoid complications. However, due to unforeseeable circumstances, if complications do occur, the surgeons try their best to remedy the situation. Most complications can be avoided by taking precautions, physical therapy, medications, and a few other surgeries that might be required. However, the ultimate aim of the surgeons is to remedy treat the situation condition at the earliest and in the best possible way.

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