The risks and complications are similar to primary total hip replacement, however given the revision is a more challenging and complex surgery, the risk of any single complication is greater.
Generally speaking, the outcome is not as predictable and there is likely to be some loss of range of movement in the revised hip. Possible complications include:
Bleeding – There is a risk of blood loss during the procedure and this can be significantly higher risk in revision surgery. Sometimes a blood transfusion may be required. Cell -Saver technology has reduced the requirement of blood transfusion allowing your own blood to be given back to you at the end of the procedure. TXA (tranexamic acid ) has also shown to reduce blood loss during these complex cases.
Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) – A VTE is when there is a blood clot inside a blood vessel. There are two types of VTE:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – this is a blood clot that forms in a vein, usually in the leg. Signs and symptoms include redness, swelling and pain but sometimes there are no symptoms at all.
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE) – is when the blood clot becomes dislodged and travels to the lung. Symptoms of a PE include chest pain, breathlessness and coughing.
All patients are given measures to prevent a VTE from happening. These may include blood thinning medications and below the knee compression stockings. It is important to move around as soon as possible after surgery. The nursing and physiotherapy staff will help you.
Infection – There is a risk of infection in the wound site. You will be given antibiotics both during and after your surgery to help prevent this.
Pain – With any surgical procedure, you may experience some pain. Dr Riazi and the medial staff use various anaesthetic techniques to minimise this and provide you with painkillers to help manage your pain. It is important that you get adequate pain relief so that you are able to move around as soon as possible after your operation
Anaesthesia risks – Your anaesthetist will meet with you before the operation and discuss the risks with you as well as the best option for you.
Dislocation of the hip – There is a very small risk of dislocation of the hip. This is when the ball pops out of the socket. It could happen at any stage however the highest risk is the few days and weeks following surgery. A physiotherapist will see you after surgery. It is important to follow their advice on strengthening exercises and general movement to prevent this from happening.
Fracture of femur – May occur while removing implants during revision hip surgery. Your surgeon may deliberately split a segment of the femur (thighbone) to make removal of the implant easier. If your femur or acetabulum is cracked during surgery, you may have to remain on crutches to allow healing to occur.