3 doctors weighed in:

What are the dangers of hip replacement? I've had several elderly relatives pass away from complications after hip replacement. What are the dangers of hip replacement in the elderly?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Michalski
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Hip replacement

Risks include infection, bleed, react to anesthesia, possible nerve damage, foot drop, blood clots, death, decreased function, increased pain, possible further surgery, periprosthetic fracture/dislocation, revision, leg length inequality.

In brief: Hip replacement

Risks include infection, bleed, react to anesthesia, possible nerve damage, foot drop, blood clots, death, decreased function, increased pain, possible further surgery, periprosthetic fracture/dislocation, revision, leg length inequality.
Dr. John Michalski
Dr. John Michalski
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Dr. Marc Dehart
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Hip surgery dangers

The main complications of hip surgery are: scar, pain, bleeding blood clots in leg which can rarely go to lungs and be fatal (usually prevented with clot prophylaxis with early activity and blood thinners) ~3% dislocation (ball pops out of socket) ~1% infection rate - which can be higher in the obese and diabetic patients nerve an blood vessel injury are rarer 100% wear all hips will wear.

In brief: Hip surgery dangers

The main complications of hip surgery are: scar, pain, bleeding blood clots in leg which can rarely go to lungs and be fatal (usually prevented with clot prophylaxis with early activity and blood thinners) ~3% dislocation (ball pops out of socket) ~1% infection rate - which can be higher in the obese and diabetic patients nerve an blood vessel injury are rarer 100% wear all hips will wear.
Dr. Marc Dehart
Dr. Marc Dehart
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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine

In brief: This

This is an excellent question.
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.

In brief: This

This is an excellent question.
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.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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