Surgeon/patient understanding
Review of the literature
Standard prostheses
Custom prostheses


The implantation of a hip prosthesis requires a technically demanding surgical procedure. The possible complications are described by order of severity. In the Results section, they are listed by order of frequency. This list is not an exhaustive one.

1. Phlebitis

A vein in the operated lower limb (leg) or in the other leg may become inflamed causing the formation of a blood clot. The most serious complication is a pulmonary embolism. The surgeon's attitude will be oriented to prevention: - prescription of anticoagulants - making the patient get up from bed as soon as possible after the operation to decrease the risk.

2. Infection

Although rare, the penetration of foreign organisms into the patient's body during and after the operation may lead to an infection around the prosthesis. Infection may require a revision operation associated with the administration of antibiotics to the vicinity of the prosthesis. The surgeon will also prescribe a preventive antibiotic treatment if necessary. The surgeon and all the other health care personnel involved pay great attention to the prevention of infection and the catastrophic consequences of its onset

3. Dislocation

Dislocation occurs when the prosthesis comes out of its seat in the pelvis. It causes sharp pains and needs to be treated urgently. Its prevention is one of the surgeon's major concerns.

4. Legs of unequal length

It may happen that the prosthesis does not reproduce the patient's anatomy perfectly. In this case, the length of the operated leg may be modified. Most often, this involves a lengthening, which can cause limping, as well as back pain.

5. Nerve lesion

During a complex operation, a lesion of the sciatic nerve or another nerve may occur, but this is rare. However, this complication is serious and requires appropriate treatment and a long period of recuperation.

6. Prior medical conditions

All operations involve a risk, which differs according to the age and severity of the pathology. The state of health of some patients can also increase the risk of complications. The following conditions have been described:

- arterial hypertension (high blood pressure)
- diabetes
- respiratory disorders (allergies,...)
- osteoporosis
- tobacco addiction
- alcohol
- associated pathologies