Artificial Hip Dislocation

An artificial replacement of a ball and socket hip joint can restore function of a hip compromised by injury or arthritis. The procedure is generally successful. However, during hip replacement, your doctor cuts through the ligamentous capsule and other soft tissues that surrounds and helps center the ball of the joint in its socket. This reduces the stability of the hip joint and increases the risk of dislocation.

Following hip replacement surgery, your doctor gives you specific instructions on certain movements to avoid in order to prevent a dislocation while these tissues are healing. You may experience pain, popping sound, inability to bear weight or move your leg/hip completely, a feeling that the hip has slipped out of joint, or that the affected leg is shorter or turns inwards. Artificial hip dislocation is rare but is likely to occur with certain positions and movements in the first 3 months after surgery. Post-surgical fractures can also cause hip dislocation.

The dislocated artificial hip is usually treated without surgery by externally manipulating the ball back into the socket (closed reduction) under anesthesia. If joint dislocations are frequent, a revision surgery may be necessary. Revision surgery involves the removal of the badly aligned prosthetic components and replacing them correctly, followed by restoring soft-tissue balance. The prosthesis may be removed, modified by attaching other pieces of prosthesis and fixed back so that it fits perfectly.

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