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Complications of Hip & Knee Replacement

All surgeries, no matter how simple, carry the risk of complications, and knee or hip replacement surgeries are no different. Complications after these procedures can be caused by a faulty implant or can be the result of the surgery itself, and repairing a failed hip or knee replacement involves major surgery performed under general anesthesia.

What are the common complications that occur following a hip or knee replacement?

Hip and knee replacements may require surgical correction or “revision” for any number of reasons. These include:

  • The joint (hip or knee) may be unstable
  • You may sustain a fracture or other injury
  • The artificial joint may become damaged or experience deterioration
  • The artificial joint may loosen due to wear
  • The site may become infected


What are the symptoms of a hip replacement failure?

Although some patients with a failing hip may not experience symptoms, most patients will notice a number of signs that indicate something is wrong with their artificial hip.

Symptoms of a failing hip replacement include:

  • Pain when walking or otherwise moving the joint
  • Swelling in or near the affected hip, or in the groin on the affected side
  • Lumps in or near the affected hip
  • Partial or complete dislocation, or a feeling that the joint has slipped
  • Odd noises during movement, such as squeaking or popping


What are the symptoms of a knee replacement failure?

Certain signs and symptoms, such as increased pain or limited knee function, may indicate that you’re experiencing a joint failure. Other symptoms of a failed knee replacement include:

  • Pain in the knee
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Instability in the joint
  • Redness and warmth

The redness and warmth associated with a joint replacement failure are due to inflammation and can be significant.


What’s involved with revision hip replacement or revision knee replacement?

In most cases, revision surgery is more complicated and takes longer to complete than the original total joint replacement, and requires an experienced surgeon and support team. The surgeon must remove the original, failed implant—and sometimes surrounding bone and tissue—along with any surgical cement used to hold it in place before he can place the new implant. If the original implant was uncemented, any bone that has grown into it must first be removed.

Because bones may be weaker than they were when the original surgery was performed, they may need to be reinforced with bone grafts or bone particles from your own body or from a bone bank. Metal plates, wedges, rods, or wire may also be necessary. Revisions require a special implant, and in some cases you may even need a custom implant made just for you by the manufacturer. Recovery time is also usually longer for revision surgeries.


Where can I find hip and knee revision surgery in NYC?

Choosing to have a joint replacement is a big decision. However, if you’re living with debilitating pain that keeps you from living life on your terms, it’s a choice that can have a powerful impact on your everyday existence.

If you’re suffering from a hip replacement failure or knee replacement failure and want to learn more about your treatment options, the first step is to schedule a consultation today.

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