Studies demonstrate that the majority of hip replacement implants last 20 years or longer. However, over time these implants can begin to wear out and if a patient is experiencing pain or mobility difficulties revision surgery may be necessary to restore function. Because more and more people are choosing to undergo hip replacement at a younger age to maintain their physical activity, the number of hip revision surgeries is increasing due to the replacement wear and tear.
The hip replacement may wear out for a number of reasons. One of the more common causes is a loosing of the implant within the bone that can be painful. Infection, dislocation, or fractures of the bone around the replacement can also lead to failure. Careful assessment by a surgeon to identify the condition of the primary hip replacement is necessary before determining the best course of treatment.
Revision hip replacement surgery is more complex than a primary hip replacement. In this procedure, the components of the primary replacement must be removed and new components secured into the bone using a longer stem for more stability. Following surgery, rehabilitation therapy is necessary to strengthen the muscles and allow the patient to resume normal gait and function.
For many patients with a failed or worn primary hip replacement, revision surgery improves mobility, strength, coordination and allows for a return to more pain-free activity.