After artificial hip replacement, several reasons may necessitate the substitution of individual implants or the entire artificial joint. This is referred to as a revision or exchange operation.
Causes that require a revision include loosening of the prosthesis (e.g. in case of severe osteoporosis), infections, wear of the hip head, the cup or other components, but also injuries involving the artificial joint (e.g. falls).
The substitution of a hip stem is often more difficult than the primary implantation. Typical of a revision implant is the long stem: it is inserted more deeply into the thigh bone than the primary stem in order to ensure reliable stability.
In case of cup revision, either the entire cup or only the inlay is substituted; the hip head can also be substituted separately. However, wear of head and cup are closely correlated so that it is usually necessary to substitute both components.
Depending on the situation, the prosthesis is partially revised or completely substituted. It is important to recognise early when a revision becomes necessary. An excessive delay or late recognition may negatively affect the bone situation and, in the worst case, make the implantation of a revision prosthesis impossible. Regular exams by the orthopaedist minimise this risk.