IF YOUR TOTAL HIP FAILS
" I do not get the same amount of pleasure out of my total hip as other people do. I am about to have my fourth total hip operation on my left hip in June. My first operation was with " a new and improved version of total hip" but it did so much damage to my body, I will have to have many surgeries before its all over. It ate a hole in my pelvic bones and the surgeons used bone from other people to repair it. I was in a body cast for weeks.
I dont believe that people who were not through this can have any idea about the pain and handicap one suffers. Fortunately, I have an excellent doctor and many friends that support me all the time".
What is a failed total hip ?
A painful total hip which restricts patients daily activities severely is a failed total hip. The pain and other symptoms from a failed total hip are lasting and / or increasing. A failed total hip involves also severe psychical burden for the patient.
Psychical suffering may be worse than the pain in the failed total hip
So you have been told by your surgeon that your total hip has failed and that you should have a new operation. This probably could not be a surprise because your total hip was worrying you for some time. Yet, the message caused a chock. There were perhaps words and terms in your surgeons message that you did not understand. You are anguished how all this will end.
Calm down and start to think rationally. Practically all complications of total hip surgery are "treatable", although the success rate of individual treatments may vary.
Try to collect more information:
Why is this new operation of your hip necessary, what is the complication of your total hip that needs treatment with a new operation?
What precisely will the surgeon do with your total hip - what kind of new operation your surgeon recommends to you?
What is the postoperative treatment after this new operation?
What are the results of the new operation?
What are the possible risks with the new operation?
Note that the surgeons often speak about "revision operation", meaning that they will "revise" the total hip prosthesis,
or more explicitly they speak about "exchange operation", meaning that they will take the failed total hip prosthesis out and put a new prosthesis in.
The most frequent cause of failure - loosening
Statistics show that about 80 % of all failures that lead to the revision operation of a total hip are caused by aseptic loosening of the total hip.
"Aseptic" means that bacteria are not causing the loosening of the total hip prosthesis.
For more information on the aseptic loosening of the total hip joints see the chapter Loosening of total hip joints .
How will I know the failed total hip?
The surest sign of the failure of a total hip replacement is increasing and lasting pain and stiffness in the total hip.
The pain is usually in the whole hip area and in the thigh when both components of the total hip have failed and are loose.
Patients with only the femoral component loosening experience mainly thigh pain.
You must, however, realize that all total hip joints may be painful on occasion,
that many patients feel "clunks" and other noises from their well healed total hips,
and that in general the function even of a well healed total hip joint is not as good as the function of a normal hip joint. These are not the signs of a failed total hip.
Other important causes of the failure of the total hip replacement
Other important causes of the failure of the total hip replacement are:
Deep infection (about 7 % of all failures)
Recurrent dislocation of a THR (about 6% of all failures)
For more information on treatment of these specific failures visit, please, the following chapters
Reason for failure Chapter Infected total hip joint Treatment of total hip infections Dislocated total hip Other complications of total hip / Dislocation
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