Medical professionals often recommend hip replacement surgery to treat
a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis,
or osteonecrosis. However, before you agree to undergo hip replacement
surgery, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and risks as
well as the potential benefits.
The Risks of Hip Replacement
Hip replacement surgery comes with a lot of risks, and you should discuss
these with your doctor if he or she is recommending a procedure. Following
surgery, you may run the risk of developing blood clots in your leg, which
can be life-threatening if they travel to your lungs, heart, or brain.
There’s also a chance of developing an infection at your incision
site, particularly if you’re immuno-compromised. There’s also
the risk of your replacement hip becoming dislocated, in which case a
brace or even additional surgery could be required to correct it. Loosening
of an artificial hip can cause the joint to fail, which also leads to
the need for additional surgery.
Data on Hip Replacement Injuries
In recent years, two major studies have raised concerns about the safety
of hip replacement surgery. Metal-on-metal, or all-metal, joints seem
to be the most risky. A 2012 study showed that all-metal hip replacements
had a much higher five-year failure rate than ceramic or metal-on-plastic
joints: 6.2% compared to 3.2% and 1.7% respectively.
Other concerns related specifically to all-metal hip replacement joints
include the risk of damage to your health from cobalt and chromium these
joints can release into your bloodstream.
For more information on hip replacement hazards, see our post on the
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