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A total hip replacement, allowing people to live active lives without pain, is one of the most successful medical procedures. However, over time, a hip replacement can fail, and your doctor may recommend a second procedure called revision total hip replacement.
The goal is the same, but revision hip replacement is a more extended, more complicated procedure requiring extensive planning and specialised tools and implants.
Reasons for revision
Aseptic loosening Wear and tear of the joint surface, partial loosening of a joint replacement, resorption (gradual breakdown) of the bone around the replacement causing the bone to become thin or cracking of the cement that holds the implants in place. Revision surgery for this type of loosening usually requires one operation. The loose implant is removed and a new one is put in.
Septic loosening The hip is loose due to infection. It is difficult to treat infections in the hip as the blood supply is reduced and the implants can make it difficult for antibiotics to get to the specific area. Therefore, the implant is removed with an antibiotic spacer inserted temporarily. The patient is treated with a minimum of six weeks antibiotics and when the infection is clear, another operation is needed to put a new implant back in the hip.
There are many conditions which require a hip replacement. The most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis simply means that the cartilage of the hip joint has worn out, resulting in the head of the thigh bone/femur (ball) and the acetabulum of the pelvic bone (socket) rubbing together. This is very painful and stops you being able to move your hip as you once did.