Hips replacements may fail for a variety of reasons. The earlier hips had an average life span of 15-20 years. Now with the invention of uncemented stems, highly cross linked poly and ceramic heads, the life span of a hip arthroplasty may exceed 30 years. The earlier hip replacements failed due to polyethylene wear generated over years leading to implant loosening and failure.’
Other causes of hip revision are periprosthetic fractures, infection, dislocation of hip and metal sensitivity.
Patients with symptoms of failure may present with pain and limp and difficulty to carry on their daily activities.
Pre-op and post op x rays of hip after revision total hip replacement
In a Revision hip arthroplasty the loose /failed components are removed with the help of special instruments and the bone cleaned of all debris. This is followed by use of special implants for revision which integrate into the native bone. Surgeon may reconstruct bone defects with bone grafts and Revision hip arthroplasty is a major surgery which is more time consuming and longer incisions are needed than usual because scar tissue makes . It needs considerable surgical skills on the part of the surgeon and specialised instrumentation are needed to perform the surgery. The risk of complications such as sciatic nerve palsy, dislocation, stiffnes, heterotopic new bone formation,periprosthetic fracture and blood loss are higher than standard hip replacement.
Recovery usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months .You may be recommended to use standard hip replacement precautions like abduction pillow and walk with stick and walker. Improvement may continue upto 2 years after surgery.