Revision Hip Replacement

Revision Hip Replacement

Most hip replacements usually last at least 15 years, though some cases need to be revised sooner. This may happen if you suffer from complications after surgery or certain types of trauma.

Revision hip replacement aims to relieve pain and loss of function by replacing an older hip prosthesis with a newer one. The procedure is more complex and takes longer than an initial hip replacement, however if symptoms warrant revision,  it can be well worth the outcome. 

Dr Jason Ward provides assessment and consultation for hip replacement procedures, including revision hip replacement, at his rooms across Adelaide and several country locations. Contact his clinics to book an appointment.

When is revision hip replacement needed?

Revision hip replacement is needed when an existing hip replacement wears out or fails. Signs of a failing hip replacement may include:

Increasing hip pain (groin, buttock or thigh)

Stiffness in the hip


Feelings of instability or dislocation

Significant leg length difference

Joint infection

How does revision hip replacement work?

Revision hip replacement surgery involves removing the old hip prosthesis and replacing it with a new one. Usually these implants are made of metal, ceramic (metal oxide) and plastic.  The new prosthesis will usually have a slightly longer and thicker stem, allowing it to be properly secured and fixed in place.

In the operating theatre, Dr Ward will remove the old hip replacement parts and any components that held it in place. He will also remove any diseased sections of bone or soft tissue.

Occasionally, significant bone loss may need to be filled with a bone graft.  More typically, Dr Ward will augment any bone loss with specifically designed prostheses.  These implants are call ‘augments’ and will help give the prosthesis better stability and allow your hip to function more normally.

After the new revision hip prosthesis is in place, Dr Ward tests the hip’s range of movement to ensure it allows maximum range and stability.  Surgical wounds are then closed in the usual manner, and the patient recovers.

What are the risks of revision hip replacement surgery?

As part of Dr Ward’s assessment, he will take a history of your condition and previous treatment.  He will perform an examination and investigate the implant in place with x-ray and CT imaging.  He will discuss with you various treatment options, and if surgery is considered he will explain the risks involved.  

Like any surgical procedure, revision hip replacement carries routine risks including infection, bleeding, blood clotting (DVT), pain, stiffness, scarring, poor wound healing and damage to blood vessels and nerves, requirement for further surgery.

Risks specific to revision hip replacement include:

  • Bone fracture during or following surgery 
  • Failure of bone to fuse to the implant
  • Leg length difference 
  • Instability, including dislocation of the hip replacement

Recovering from revision hip replacement

After surgery, patients recover in hospital for 3-5 days.  During this time, you will receive pain relief, antibiotics and support from a team including nursing staff, physiotherapists, physicians and Dr Ward.

Once Dr Jason Ward and his team are confident you are comfortable and independent with your mobility, you will be discharged home.  You will be given clear instructions for mobility and oral medication for pain management.  Dr Ward will continue your treatment through his clinic in the following weeks.

Your hip will likely see dramatic improvements in function over the first 6-12 weeks.  Recovery will take longer than an initial hip replacement, however persisting with rehabilitation will see continuing improvement over 12-18 months after the procedure.  

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