What is Revision Hip Surgery?
10-20% of people continue to have pain after joint replacement. Pain can be related to several reasons including wear, loosening, malposition of the implants, fracture and infection. Dr. Ehmke has extensive training in evaluating and treating these complex problems and may be able to offer solutions to relieve pain and restore functions. Revision hip surgery is a repeat hip surgery performed in certain patients to correct the problems or complications of previous hip surgery and overcome its limitations.
Preparation for Revision Hip Surgery
In general, preoperative preparation for revision hip surgery will involve the following steps:
- A thorough examination is performed by your doctor to check for any medical issues that need to be addressed prior to surgery.
- Depending on your medical history, social history, and age, you may need to undergo tests such as blood work and imaging to help detect any abnormalities that could threaten the safety of the procedure.
- You will be asked if you have allergies to medications, anesthesia, or latex.
- You should inform your doctor of any medications, vitamins, or supplements that you are taking.
- You may need to refrain from supplements or medications such as blood thinners or anti-inflammatories a week or two prior to surgery.
- You should refrain from alcohol or tobacco before surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.
- A written consent will be obtained from you after the surgical procedure has been explained in detail.
Procedure for Revision Hip Surgery
Based on the hip condition and failure of the surgery to treat that condition, a patient may need to undergo revision hip surgery. The procedure is performed using the previous incision or sometimes a new incision is used. One or both of the components of the hip may need to be removed from the bone using specialized tools. Depending on how much reconstruction needs to be done, the procedure may take anywhere from 1-4 hours.
Postoperative Care and Instructions
In general, postoperative care instructions and recovery after revision hip surgery will involve the following:
- You will be transferred to the recovery area where your nurse will closely observe you for any allergic/anesthetic reactions and monitor your vital signs as you recover.
- You may notice some pain, swelling, and discomfort in the operated area. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are provided as needed.
- In most cases, you will be able to put full weight on your leg after surgery. Sometimes, you will need to limit the amount of weight that can be put on your leg for 4-6 weeks in order to let the bone heal. You are encouraged to walk with assistance as frequently as possible to prevent blood clots.
- Keep the surgical site clean and dry. Instructions on surgical site care and bathing will be provided.
- Refrain from smoking as it can negatively affect the healing process.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin D is strongly advised to promote healing and a faster recovery.
- In most cases, the recovery time is longer for a revision then for the original surgery due to the more extensive work that his required. Gradual increase in activities over a period of time is recommended.
- An individualized physical therapy protocol will be designed to help strengthen hip muscles and optimize hip function.
- Refrain from driving until you are fully fit and no longer taking narcotics
- A periodic follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your progress.
Risks and Complications
Revision hip surgery is a relatively safe procedure; however, as with any surgery, some risks and complications may occur, such as the following:
- Postoperative pain
- Damage to nerves and vessels
- Thromboembolism or blood clots
- Differences in leg length
- Anesthetic/allergic reactions