Hip Revision Surgery

Contact Us

Orthopaedics & Spine Centre, Mater Private Network, St. Raphael's House, 81-84 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1, D01 KX02 1800 38 52 85 Outside ROI +353 (0)1 882 2617 orthospine@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed

Orthopaedic & Spine Centre, Mater Private Network, Citygate, Mahon, Cork, T12 K199 021 601 3200 cork@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.

Useful Information

About this service

Hip revision surgery is performed to repair an artificial hip joint (prosthesis) that has been damaged over time, usually due to normal wear and tear or sometimes due to infection. Revision surgery helps to correct the problem so your hip can function normally again.

Relief from pain is the main benefit of having hip revision surgery. You may find that hip revision surgery improves mobility, strength and coordination of your torso and leg, in addition to improving the appearance of your hip and leg.

You may need hip revision surgery if you have other symptoms that indicate loosening of your hip replacement joint, dislocation of the joint or if the bone around your joint has weakened over time.

This surgery may enable you to return to normal activity with a pain-free hip. However, the success of your revision surgery is reliant upon your commitment to carrying out your rehabilitation programme following surgery.

Pre-operative assessment clinic

Within one month of your operation, you will be invited to attend the Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic at Mater Private Network. During this visit you will be asked about your medical history and any medications you are taking. Blood tests will be carried out and you may have an ECG and X-ray.

As is the case with total hip replacement, it is important to be as fit as possible in advance of revision hip replacement surgery.

Before surgery, you will attend the Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic. A specialist team at the clinic will ensure that you are fully fit and prepared in advance of the procedure and check that you are prepared for your recovery and rehabilitation at home. As mobility will be limited following surgery, it is important that you have help with everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning and shopping, especially if you live alone.

The Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic gives you the opportunity to see a physiotherapist and nurse, ask any questions you may have, and plan for your discharge from hospital.

Ahead of your surgery, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with revision total hip replacement surgery, which may include:

  • Blood clots: clots can form in your leg veins after surgery. This can be dangerous because a piece of a clot can break off and travel to your lungs, heart or in rare cases, your brain. A doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medications to reduce this risk.
  • Infection:  infection can occur at the site of your incision and in the deeper tissue near the replacement hip. Most infections are treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near the prosthesis may require surgery to remove and replace the prosthesis again.
  • Fracture: during surgery, healthy portions of your hip joint may fracture. Sometimes the fractures are so small that they heal on their own, but larger fractures may need to be corrected with wires, pins and possibly bone grafts.
  • Dislocation: certain positions can cause the ball of a new joint to become dislodged. To avoid this, it is often recommended that after surgery you do not bend more than 90 degrees at the hip and don't let your leg cross the midline of your body. If the hip dislocates, a doctor may fit you with a brace to keep your hip in the correct position. If your hip keeps dislocating, surgery is often required to stabilise it.
  • Change in leg length: the surgeon takes steps to avoid this problem, but occasionally a replacement hip can make one leg longer or shorter than the other.This can be caused by weakness in the muscles surrounding the hip. In this case, progressively strengthening and stretching those muscles may help.
  • Loosening: although this is a rarer complication with newer implants, the new joint may not become solidly fixed to your bone or may loosen over time, causing pain in your hip. Surgery may be required to correct this.

During a revision total hip replacement, the original implants are removed, and new components are implanted. The surgeon will select the type of implant that best suits your needs.

Hip replacement surgery is generally carried out under spinal anaesthetic with sedation. A consultant anaesthetist will discuss with you the anaesthetic options, as well as the risks and benefits associated with each. Pain management plays an important part in recovery and rehabilitation. The consultant anaesthetist and nurse at the clinic will talk to you about pain management after surgery.

To reduce the risk of blood clots after surgery, you may be given medication, wear specialist compression stockings and do ankle pump exercises for two to three days following surgery.

Rehabilitation and physiotherapy begin immediately following hip revision surgery and will continue throughout the your stay at the hospital and at home. You will be given advice and instructions on what your limitations are and what exercises to do to enhance your recovery.

Your discharge date will be determined by all members of the healthcare team involved in your care, who will work in consultation with your family.

Discharge from hospital normally occurs when you reach specific goals such as the distance you can walk or how much your wound has healed. The surgeon will discuss your expected length of stay prior to admission.

Patients generally return to their own homes after discharge from hospital as they typically recover better in a familiar environment. They are given a home exercise programme and rarely require further physiotherapy.

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