Total hip replacement (THR) surgeries have become more and more common. In 1999 surgeons did 168,000 THR surgeries and 30,000 revision THR surgeries in the United States. Most patients get improved function and good pain relief from a THR. However, sometimes a THR can cause new kinds of pain. This is a difficult situation for patients. And surgeons can have a difficult time developing a treatment plan that works.
This article gives surgeons an overview of the causes of painful THRs. The authors stress that the underlying cause of pain must be determined. Potential causes of THR pain include infection, other problems with the bones and hip joint, and problems with the implant itself. The authors say that surgeons should always be sure to rule out infection in cases of a painful THR.
The article details the best ways to diagnose the problem. The authors say that the history and physical exam must be thorough. The article outlines imaging and laboratory tests that can help identify the problem. It also discusses some new diagnostic tests that could help show the cause of a painful THR.