As with any surgery, when the skin is cut there are risks of bleeding, pain and infection. Infection can occur in the first few weeks after surgery, or many months after. This can be a serious complication, and in almost all cases will require another surgery open and clean the wound and joint, at the least. Infections that continue beyond 3 months or so may require that the hardware be removed from the hip in order to eradicate the infection, with a revision surgery
being done in the future once it is certain the infection is gone. Pulmonary embolus
, or a blood clot
that travels to the lung, happens in about 5% of cases. Anesthesia
itself has risks as well. Although rare, people can have heart attacks or strokes during anesthesia. Since the elderly are more likely than the young to have heart problems
and other medical problems, they are more likely to suffer these complications as well. Being in bed after surgery for a few days also carries risks. We know that not moving around and getting out of bed can lead to pneumonia
, blood clots in the legs, and bed sores. If a foley is placed during surgery, this can cause a urinary tract infection. The key to reducing the risk of complications in the elderly is to get them up and moving out of bed as soon as possible. This often mean the first morning after surgery, if possible.