Hip Replacement Revision Surgeries

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged part of the hip joint is removed and replaced with prosthesis or artificial devices.    Hip joint injuries cause pain and severe uneasiness which disrupts a person’s day to day routine.    A hip replacement surgery is needed when the hip joint suffers from common hip joint damages such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, injury, fracture, and bone tumors.

People who usually get hip replacement surgery are those who are over 60 years old.    Young people however, are now availing of hip replacement surgeries to have increased mobility, improved quality of life and improvements in the activities of daily living.   More than 231,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.   A revision surgery is normally not necessary for patients in the older age bracket, although it has been noted in younger patients when the joint surface wears away after 15 to 20 years.    Bone loss, wear and tear of artificial device, joint loosening reflected on x-rays, fracture, dislocation and infection are the common reasons for revision surgeries. 

In the United States, an estimated number of 18 revision surgeries are performed for every 100 hip replacements.    The most common reasons therefore are repetitive dislocation, mechanical failure and infection due to metallosis.   Metallosis takes place when there is metal corrosion in the synthetic ball and socket device and residues of wear debris go through a person’s bloodstream.   As DePuy’s synthetic hip device is designed purely of metal rather than of plastic, metallosis have been its most complained about defect.    Clbalt and chromium in high levels have been found among DePuy patients who suffer from metallosis.   Vertigo, blindness, deafness, peripheral neuropathy, headaches, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, cardiomyopathy or hypothyroidism are some of the damages of cobaltism which may injure a person’s organs. 

Two infamous remedies of Hip Replacement Failure are surgical cleaning of the hip replacement and complete exchange of hip replacement.   In the initial stages of infection, surgical cleaning is advised which entails intake of prescribed intravenous and oral antibiotics.    Complete exchange of hip replacement comes in two forms; in a single operation or in two stages which is comprised of its removal for cleaning and fixing of a remporary cement spacer which allows mobility and antibiotics to the diseased area.  While hip replacement was procured to improve one’s lifestyle, the consequent revision surgery may ultimately alter one’s lifestyle.