Complications following Hip Replacement Surgery

What is hip replacement surgery?

Hip joint is one of the most important joints in the body which helps in mobility as well as in bearing of weight and many disease conditions can affect the joint and hinder its performance. Among these causes, fractures, arthritis, genetic conditions, wear and tear injuries as well as infections could be highlighted although not all will lead to persistent hip damage. But, if these conditions leads to chronically disabled hip joint which lessens the quality of life to a significant extent through immobility, clinicians may suggest to the patient to undergo hip replacement surgery. At present, almost 193,000 persons undergo hip replacement surgery each year in the United States alone.

The process includes replacement of the diseased joint with an artificial joint which will enable the patient to regain the lost mobility of the hip joint as well as to live a pain free life in most instances.

What are the possible complications following a hip replacement?

Although the surgery is well tolerated by many, there are instances in which complications changes the event free outcome of the surgery. Let us now discuss some of these complications pertaining to a hip surgery one by one.

Deep vein thrombosis:

DVT is one of the major complications pertaining to hip replacement surgery and will be characterized by sudden development of shortness of breath, paralysis as in the case of strokes, chest pain, or with localized signs such as calf pain and swelling. Thus, early mobilizations, pneumatic pressure application to the legs, use of blood thinning agents as well as massaging techniques have made these complications relatively rare and therefore the hip replacements to be safer. But, when patients are more susceptible to develop the same, such actions may not be enough to prevent blood clot formation.


Although infections do not come into picture in most instances where strict aseptic measures have been used, it is possible for these individuals to develop infections of the hip joint or else on the outer scar. In any event, antibiotics should be used to get rid of the infection and allow the wound to heal as fast as possible.

Inequality of the leg length:

Following surgery, it is possible for the two legs to be unequal and this can be remedied by using appropriate shoes and exercises in most instances.

Apart from the above mentioned complications, bleeding, injury to nerves, fractures, stiffness of the joint…etc can also take place and therefore close observation is vital to overcome these complications in the immediate post operative period as well as till the patient recover 100%.