5 side effects of hip replacement surgery




Hip replacement surgery is performed to replace a hip joint that is damaged and degraded, and is unable to perform to its intended purpose. An artificial material such as metal or ceramic is used in its place and this will relieve pain and allow patients to regain their range of motion and thus makes them able to perform things that they previously could not. Although the end results are impressive, there are side effects involved too.

Hip dislocation

Hip dislocation is a common side effect experienced by many patients post surgery. As the prosthetic used for the surgery is normally smaller than the patient’s own hip bone, the replacement hip ball tends to slip out of the socket easily. The replacement hip joint may also irritate the tissues around it, causing inflammation of the tissues and possibly degradation of the bone. Bone degradation is a serious thing and can cause pain and additional corrective surgery.


Pain is an inevitable side effect that will definitely be experienced by all. Pain will affect the patient’s ability to move about after surgery. Medication will be prescribed by the doctor to allow patients to feel more comfortable and pain will subside as time passes. However if patients experience severe or prolonged pain, they should seek care from a medical professional.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a common side effect post surgery which is accompanied by swelling and discolouration of the skin. DVT occurs due to poor blood circulation throughout the leg, causing blood clots. If the blood clot flows through the blood and enters the lungs, it can be life threatening and will cause breathing difficulties that may be fatal.


One very rare side effect is infection. Bacteria could get into the prosthetic joint area and trigger a body reaction, causing infection. However this is rare due to the disinfected environment in the operating theatre but it could still happen due to human errors. If patients experience high fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius accompanied by chills and discharging of body fluids, they must seek medical help immediately.

Nerve injury

Injuries to the nerves are uncommon due to hip replacement surgery. The nerves around the surgical site could be accidentally injured and/or damaged during surgery and this will cause numbness and a tingling sensation. In most cases, they are only temporary and patients will fully regain their feeling over a period of time. In more severe cases, they can be permanent and patients will never have a sensation at the injury site again.

Most side effects are only temporary and will go away with time. Most of them are not serious and will only cause some slight discomfort to the patient. However, there are rare and more serious side effects that could possibly occur. Patients are thus advised to speak to their surgeon and fully understand all the risks and side effects before deciding to undergo the surgery.

Need consultation? Our professional orthopaedic specialist, Dr. Kevin Yip, has more than 20 years experience. Be assured that you will be receiving professional treatments that suit your needs.

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  • Jane waldman said:

    Mar 24, 2015 8:05 am

    I have pins and needles in my foot the same side as the hip operation does this subside as time goes and can one do anything to alleviate it. Thanks

  • Alice said:

    Nov 18, 2015 10:54 pm

    It has been a year since I’ve had my hip surgery and I am still experiencing pain in my butt. I walking 3 miles easily 2days a week and swim a mile 2days a week.. I have no pains while exercising. The pain comes mainly at night. I have been told to be patient that the discomfort I fee is from the muscles healing. Am I doing too much.

  • Col. John Meskill said:

    Feb 08, 2016 1:58 am

    It’s been three years and pins and needles are not going away. My right leg is numb and I have a dropped foot. Muscles in the butt are stiff and sore. I go to physical therapy twice a week. I also had four vertebrae fused that also gives me back trouble. Not fun.

  • michealpaulsears@gmail.com said:

    Feb 25, 2016 11:37 pm

    I just had mine replaced and its been 4 months and I only hurt in my but at night also doc says it will pass in time but has cut me off my meds….i feel your pain just know u are not alone

  • David Ruffo said:

    Jun 15, 2016 12:26 am

    Get a feeling of sitting on my wallet on the side that was replaced, also get a funny feeling in my leg from my knee to my foot when sitting too long. I does go away when I get up and walk for a while.

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