What is a revision hip replacement?

In some cases, old hip replacement joints can wear away or become loose. Hip replacement revision surgery may be recommended to replace the original prosthesis with a new one when this occurs. The orthopaedic surgeon will use x-rays to detect and monitor any changes and plan for a revision hip replacement surgery before a major problem develops.

Revision hip replacement surgery involves the removal of the original prosthesis, the cement, the surrounding tissue and the dead bone before replacing it with a new prosthesis.

Most elderly patients who have undergone hip replacement surgery retain the prosthesis for approximately 15 – 20 years, and sometimes for life. However, some patients may require one or more hip replacement revision surgeries, especially if the hip replacement was done at a young age. Other reasons why a revision hip replacement surgery may be recommended may include the following:

  • Mechanical failure occurs when the prosthesis parts gradually wear off due to regular, repetitive movement of the mechanical parts.
  • Infection

How does Dr van Niekerk perform revision hip replacement surgery?

Firstly, Dr van Niekerk will make an incision on your hip to access the hip joint. He will then examine the soft tissues in the hip joint to ensure that they are not infected or have other problems, such as a reaction to the metal components of the prosthesis. The prosthesis will be assessed to determine which parts of the prosthesis have worn off, loosened, or moved from the original position.

Next, Dr van Niekerk will remove the original implant and cement if used. After removing the prosthesis, he will prepare the surfaces of the bone for the revision implants. Bone grafts may be used to make up for the bony deficits. The new prosthesis will be inserted and secured in place with the use of multiple surgical screws. After the procedure, the incision will be closed, and a drain will be inserted in your hip to remove fluid or blood that may remain.

What does recovery look like?

After the procedure, you may remain in the hospital for a few days. Even though recovery after revision hip replacement surgery is slow, the type of care received is the same as a primary hip replacement surgery. Pain medicine and physical therapy will be recommended to help ease pain and restore function. Instructions on how to take care of the wound will be provided.


What are the benefits of a revision hip replacement surgery?

The procedure helps relieve pain and improves mobility, strength and coordination of the torso and leg. In addition, it also helps improve the appearance of the hip and leg.

What causes hip pain?

The most common reason for a revision hip replacement procedure is to repair a hip implant that is no longer securely attached to the bone, which results in abnormal motion that causes pain.

What are the risk factors of a revision hip replacement surgery?

There are some unforeseen complications that may occur associated with anaesthesia, such as respiratory or cardiac malfunction. Other complications may include infection, nerve and blood vessel injury, fracture, stiffness, weakness of the joint, pain, or the possibility of requiring other hip surgeries.