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Hip Replacement Surgery Tip #159: A Fearful Post Hip Replacement Surgery Complication

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The National Center for Health Statistics Total estimates there are 332,000 hip replacements per year. For 99%+ of all people have a highly successful outcome. For me, this was my worst ‘complication.’

There are a few rules to follow during rehab in order to avoid the risk of dislocating your new hip, you should not:

  • Bend the hip too far toward the chest
  • Allow your leg / hip to turn inward
  • Allow your leg to cross over the midline
  • Do not bend your hip any more than a right angle.

For 99%+ of all people have a highly successful outcome. For me, the picture below was my worst ‘complication,’ challenging many of the ‘do not bend’ rules.

Thanks to Lee E. Rubin, M.D for his reply about Direct Anterior Approach – DAA, and how that would have saved rotational stress for me!


And this is another way I could have remedied my fear of stressing my new hip replacement…

On a more serious note…

What Are Possible Complications of Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacements have been highly successful for more than 30 years. Millions of people who have suffered from hip pain and arthritis have experienced relief through total hip replacement and restored mobility. Globally, hundreds of thousands of hip replacement procedures are performed each year. And because medicine is always developing new materials and procedures, the results continue to get better.

Don’t Be Part Of The 1% – Major Complications of Hip Replacement Surgery

The complication rate following total hip replacement is low. According to the American Journal of Orthopedics, serious complications, such as hip-joint infection, occur in approximately 1.0% of patients. Major medical complications, such as heart attack or stroke, occur even less frequently. (Of course, chronic illnesses may increase the potential for complications.)

New technology and advances in surgical techniques have greatly reduced the risks involved with hip replacements.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) the most common problem that may arise soon after hip replacement surgery is hip dislocation. Because the artificial ball and socket are smaller than the normal ones, the ball can become dislodged from the socket if the hip is placed in certain positions. The most dangerous position usually is pulling the knees up to the chest.

The most common later complication of hip replacement surgery is an inflammatory reaction to tiny particles that gradually wear off of the artificial joint surfaces and are absorbed by the surrounding tissues. The inflammation may trigger the action of special cells that eat away some of the bone, causing the implant to loosen. To treat this complication, the doctor may use anti-inflammatory medications or recommend revision surgery (replacement of an artificial joint). Medical scientists are experimenting with new materials that last longer and cause less inflammation. Less common complications of hip replacement surgery include infection, blood clots, and heterotopic bone formation (bone growth beyond the normal edges of bone).

To minimize the risk of complications, it’s important to know how to prevent problems and to recognize signs of potential problems early and contact your doctor. For example, tenderness; redness and swelling of your calf; or swelling of your thigh, ankle, or foot could be warning signs of a possible blood clot. Warning signs of infection include fever, chills, tenderness and swelling, or drainage from the wound. You should call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Complication Rates for Hip Replacement and/or Knee Patients

According to Medicare.gov, the hip/knee complication rate is an estimate of complications within an applicable time period, for patients electively admitted for primary total hip and/or knee replacement. CMS measures the likelihood that at least 1 of 8 complications occurs within a specified time period:

  • Within 7 Days of Admission: Heart attack (acute myocardial infarction [AMI]), pneumonia, or sepsis/septicemia/shock during the index admission or within 7 days of admission;
  • Within 30 Days of Admission: Surgical site bleeding, pulmonary embolism, or death during the index admission or within 30 days of admission; or
  • Within 90 Days of Admission: Mechanical complications or periprosthetic joint infection/wound infection during the index admission or within 90 days of admission.




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