Hip replacement is a surgery performed on a painful hip joint usually affected by arthritis that has impacted the patient's quality of life. The surgeon replaces the degenerated joint with an artificial hip joint to relieve the patient's pain and restore mobility. In most cases, this surgery is successful. But there are cases of hip replacement failure which can be difficult to spot until after the rehabilitation period. Failure of a hip replacement can be dangerous and cause more harm to the body if not detected and corrected.
Various signs indicate that the implant has failed. Here are a few of the most noticeable symptoms that need to be checked.
Pain in the Joint
Pain is the first warning sign that a hip replacement has failed. Any ache felt around the surgical region (the hip) after the rehabilitation period, be it months or a few years later, is a symptom that needs to be addressed.
Swelling (without redness or pain) of the region around the replaced hip joint after rehab shouldn't occur. If there is swelling, it's a sign of a failed hip replacement, and revision surgery may be necessary.
Metallosis is common with metal hip joints. It is the increase in metal levels in the blood as a result of metal deposits released and absorbed due to the metal implants grinding against each other. High metal levels is a significant health risk; confirmation is made via a blood test.
Loosening Hip Components
This situation occurs when a part of the replaced hip joint is loose, fractured or dislocated. In most cases, patients will feel a pop or hear a popping sound when walking.
Inflammation is when the affected area becomes swollen, red, and painful. In some cases, this could be related to an infection, but no risks should be taken, therefore going for a check-up is recommended.
Like most health conditions, a patient might not experience all of these symptoms. If any of these symptoms are noticed after the rehabilitation period, see a doctor immediately. Revision surgery is the best solution to a failed hip replacement.
There are rare cases where no severe symptoms are noticed even though the hip replacement has failed. It is advisable to go for a checkup if something doesn't feel right.