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Total Hip Replacement (cont.)

Risks of Total Hip Replacement

  • Infection: A small number of people can develop an infection with a total hip replacement. This complication can require further surgery to remove the prosthetic components and clean out the joint along with a course of antibiotics lasting six to eight weeks.
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot (thrombosis) may form in veins of your pelvis, thigh, or leg. After surgery, you will receive blood-thinning medication, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin), to prevent clots from forming.
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE): An embolism occurs when a clot breaks free and travels to your lungs. An embolism potentially can cause serious respiratory difficulty. The risk of having one is less than 1%.
  • Bleeding: As with any surgery, you will experience bleeding both during and after the procedure. You often will need a blood transfusion.
  • Nerve injury: You have a small risk of injuring the nerves that allow sensation and movement of your leg. Often this problem, if it occurs, will go away over time.
  • Anesthesia: Any type of anesthesia has risks associated with it. Discuss these with your doctor.
  • Fracture: Other bones may be broken during surgery. These breaks may affect your rehabilitation and require a longer hospital stay.
  • Dislocation: Your new hip will not move as well as a normal joint and thus can be dislocated more easily. You must be cautious not to sit too low or to cross your legs.

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