Dislocated a New Hip--Lately?Hip dislocation can happen after hip replacement surgery. The highest risk of dislocation is in the months right after surgery. However, dislocations sometimes happen even after many years. Hip dislocations that occur five years or more after surgery are called late dislocations.
Not much is known about late hip dislocations. These doctors went back through the records of more than 19,000 hip replacement surgeries over 25 years. They found that a total of 2.6 percent of these patients had a hip dislocation. About a third of that number was late dislocations.
Late dislocations happened between five and 25 years after surgery. The total number of late dislocations was small--less than one percent of the total patients who'd gotten a new hip. Still, late dislocation was more common than most doctors would have expected.
The authors compared patients with dislocations within five years with those who had late dislocations. They found that patients with a late dislocation were more likely to be women and to have had their surgeries at a younger age. Other conditions like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease may have contributed to the hip dislocation in some cases. In others, the new hip joint may have been poorly positioned in the initial surgery, making the joint more likely to dislocate at some point.
Marius von Knoch, MD, et al. Late Dislocation after Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2002. Vol. 84-A. No. 11. Pp. 1949-1953.
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