Hip Revision

  • Introduction

  • Surgical Treatment

A hip revision involves surgically removing an older prosthesis, from a prior hip replacement surgery, and replacing it with a new one. Prosthetic hip implants often last 20 or more years and many patients go their entire lives without the need for a hip revision. However, prosthetics can wear out and in those cases a hip revision is necessary.

If an orthopedic surgeon suspects that there is an issue with a hip replacement, a number of imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, will be performed. These diagnostic tests show the surgeon the position and condition of the hip and prosthetic implants so they can determine if there is a need for revision surgery.

When a patient undergoes hip replacement surgery, the ball and socket of the hip joint are removed and replaced with prosthetic (man-made) implants. When the hip joint is active (walking, running, etc.), the prosthetic implants rub against each other which can result in a slow breakdown of the prosthetic and eventually lead to mechanical wear, loosening and even breakage. If the patient is younger or more physically active, wearing down of the prosthetic can be accelerated. 

As the prosthetic wears out, microscopic particles of metal, plastic, ceramic or cement, depending on the type of implant used in the original hip replacement, are released. A hip revision is usually required when the patient begins to experience pain once again, when the prosthesis wears out or when the prosthesis is recalled by the manufacturer.

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