Exchange or Revision Surgery after Hip Replacement

It is common knowledge that artificial joints in the body are subject to degenerative processes. Polyethylene debris forms at the border between the femoral head and the socket, which then gradually leads to dissolution of the connection between the bone and the cement or between the implant and the bone in the joint. The most frequent cause requiring exchange of an artificial joint is that the joint becomes loose, which is the final stage of this development. This usually does not occur bevor the twelfth year after the original implant operation, but this depends on many factors and may also occur much earlier or much later. An indicator of such loosening is pain in the groin or upper thigh that could not be felt before. This pain is generally dependent on the strain exerted when walking and is rarely present when resting. The socket and the shaft are not always affected equally by loosening. Frequently, either only the socket or only the shaft is no longer firmly attached to the bone. If such loosening can be seen clearly on an X-ray image and if it causes pain, then joint revision surgery can normally not be avoided.

If the symptoms are very minor and if the changes in the X-ray image are not very pronounced either, revision surgery may be delayed – depending on the age and the life situation – but then close monitoring will be necessary. Revision surgery requires significantly higher effort and takes longer than primary hip surgery. This means that the surgical risk for the affected patient is also significantly higher. Today, even these operations are safe and can be performed with good final results thanks to careful planning of these procedures, excellent, special revision implants, and the achievements made in modern anesthesiology. We have great experience in the area of revision or exchange arthroplasty. In the last few years, we have performed 50 to 60 such operations annually. Special implants and our own bone bank are always available, ensuring that even complex loosening and defect situations can be managed.

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