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Possible Complications Following Hip Replacement Surgery

When it comes to hip replacement, area residents from Green Bay to Waupaca to Fond du Lac want to make sure that they are fully aware of what happens after the procedure. There is a risk of complications with all surgeries, including hip replacement. Knowing what these are helps to make it easier to reduce your risk when you are recovering from your surgery.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are a potential complication associated with hip replacement surgery. They might occur in a vein in the leg following the procedure. If a clot that develops breaks off and gets into your heart, brain or lungs, this could be fatal without immediate treatment. Doctors might help to reduce this risk by prescribing a short-term dose of blood thinners for your recovery period.


There is the potential for fracture during the surgery. This could happen when the surgeon is manipulating the healthy hip bone areas to put the new joint into place. In most cases, the fractures heal without intervention and are incredibly small. However, further surgery might be needed if the fractures are more severe.

Leg Length Changes

There is a chance that your legs could be different lengths following your surgery. This could result from muscle contracture of the muscles in the area of the joint. Surgeons have ways to help avoid this issue during surgery so it is very uncommon. 


All types of surgery come with the risk of infection because infection is possible anything the skin is broken. If an infection happens, you will likely require antibiotics to take care of it. Some surgeons will prescribe antibiotics following a hip replacement as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of this complication in the first place.


Dislocation is a complication your doctor will tell you about. There are times when the new joint essentially dislodges, resulting in this complication. If this happens repeatedly, you might require a corrective surgery to help stop it from occurring again in the future.


Loosening is a potential complication that you want to be aware of, but with the newer implant options, it is extremely rare. This occurs when the joint is not properly secured to your bone. Over time, this can result in the implanted joint becoming loose. Hip pain is a common symptom when this happens and you might require a second surgery to correct this complication.

Following hip replacement, your doctor will give you detailed instructions concerning what you need to do to enhance the healing process. If you suspect that you have developed any of the possible complications, it is important to talk to your doctor immediately to determine which additional treatment might be necessary.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere. To request a consultation, please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.