Is Leg Swelling a Possible Complication Following Hip Replacement?


Quick Answer

Leg swelling is a possible complication of hip replacement surgery, Arthritis Research UK states. Swelling may occur due to blood clots forming in the leg or due to blood gathering under the skin instead of leaking from the surgical wound.

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Full Answer

As hip replacement surgery changes the flow of blood in the area and the likelihood of clotting, clots may form inside deep veins and cause swelling or pain, Arthritis Research UK notes. This condition is called deep vein thrombosis. Measures to decrease the individualメs risk of developing deep vein thrombosis include injected drugs such as fondaparinux or heparin, purposely designed stockings and pumps for exercising feet. In some cases, drugs are available as tablets that can be taken at home.

Other complications from hip replacement surgery include hip dislocation, infection and pulmonary embolism, Arthritis Research UK reports. Hip dislocation is very rare, occurring in fewer than five percent of individuals, and it is corrected in a secondary operation. Infection occurs in approximately one percent of all patients and successful treatment requires the removal of the new hip joint for a period of six to 12 weeks. Pulmonary embolism may develop if a blood clot forms in a thigh vein and eventually makes its way to the lungs. It is treated with oxygen therapy and a specific course of medicines.

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