Revision Total Hip Replacement
This webpage will give you information
about a revision total hip replacement. If you have any
questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health
What is a revision total hip replacement?
A revision total hip replacement is an operation to take out the
old hip replacement and put in a new one.
A hip replacement can fail for the following reasons.
- Wearing out of the artificial
- Infection in the hip replacement.
- Fracture of the thighbone (femur).
What are the benefits of surgery?
If the operation is successful, you should be
able to walk better and do more of your normal activities.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
If your symptoms are mild, you may decide to
watch and wait for a while.
If you have an infection, antibiotics can
sometimes stop the hip replacement failing.
If your hip replacement keeps coming out of
joint, you can wear a brace.
If you have a fracture, you can sometimes be
treated with traction.
What does the operation involve?
A variety of anaesthetic techniques are
Your surgeon will make a cut on the side of
your hip. They will remove your hip replacement and any cement.
Your surgeon will put in a new hip replacement.
The hip replacement is fixed into the bone using an acrylic cement
or special coatings on the hip replacement that bond directly to
The type of surgery you need can be more
complicated if the bone is thin or broken, or if you have an
infection (see figure 1)
What complications can happen?
1 General complications of any operation
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Unsightly scarring
- Blood clots
- Difficulty passing urine
- Chest infection
- Heart attack
2 Specific complications of this
- Split in the femur
- Damage to nerves around the hip
- Damage to blood vessels around the hip
- Infection in the hip
- Bone forming in muscles around the hip
- Leg length difference
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home after five to ten days.
You will need to use crutches or walking sticks for a few
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities
as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a
member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
Most people make a good recovery and most revision total hip
replacements work well. It is important to follow the advice your
physiotherapist gives you about exercises to strengthen your hip
A revision total hip replacement can fail with time.
If your original hip replacement fails, you can
usually have another operation to do the hip replacement again. If
this revision operation is successful, you should be able to
continue many of your normal activities.
Author: Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr. &
Illustrations: Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr.
This document is intended for information
purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant
health professional would give you.