The following are the five major risks associated with hip replacement:
- Blood clots: Post-surgery risk includes clot formation in the leg veins and the hip areas surrounding the area of surgery. This can be pretty dangerous irrespective of the size of the clot, as any thrombus can reach by the circulatory motion of the blood fluid to different parts of the body including the lungs and the heart. Very rarely the clot, if too minuscule may even breach the blood-brain barrier and reach the sensitive tissues of the brain this creating elevated risks for stroke. Although this risk can be greatly taken care of by administration of certain blood thinning agents and drugs, it is quite a common and major one and deserves its due mention.
- Infections: The deeper the operation area, the lower are the chances of infection. Thighs are broadly categorized as outer thighs and inner thighs; the latter are more susceptible to infection due to its proximity with genital areas. Since new hip implants are used during replacement of hips, the body may treat them as foreign invasive agents and mount a strong immune response resulting in ensuing inflammation, swelling as well as infection next to the site of incision. In extreme cases, this ultimately leads to rejection of the new hip and thus a reversal of the cumbersome surgical procedure.
- Fracture and loosening: During rare cases of replacement hip surgery, even intact parts of the hip joint may get torn and dislodged. Many a time the fractures are minute and merely local displacements which get restored to their original form in a short time, owing to the natural healing power of the body. Yet again, major forms of fracture that occurs from time to time need correction with the help of pins, wires and even bone grafts in some severe cases. In few cases the new hip joined may loosen with time leading to extreme pain and rejection.
- Dislocation: It is advisable to refrain from strain and movement immediately after surgery. This is because some types of positions can cause the new hip joint to get dislocated from the socket. One should not bend knees or cross the till the mid-line of the body. Hip dislocation is considered to be the major risk associated with a replacement hip surgery and if the former happens, further surgery is required to align it or maybe fit it with firm braces.
- Change in height and leg length: In spite of extreme care and caution taken during surgery on the part of the doctor, it may happen so that the implantation of the new hip ends up making one leg shorter or longer than the other. The hip is a very dicey part of the body as it affects our overall height and thus should be symmetrical and proportionate on both parts, otherwise it becomes too noticeable. Sometimes this disproportion occurs due to surrounding weakness near the hip. Proper exercise and gradual stretching may help to alleviate this problem to some extent.