Blood Clots

Blood clots that form within the veins of the legs are the most common complication that people suffer from after hip replacement surgery. Clots that remain in the leg after surgery are fine and normally dissolve on their own. The complication occurs when a clot breaks off. When a clot breaks off, it travels through the heart and into the lung causing a pulmonary embolism. Pain in the leg and shortness of breath are often symptoms of a pulmonary embolism. To help prevent blood clots from forming after surgery, a physician will prescribe a blood thinning medication called Coumadin. Also a patient is fitted with pressure cuffs on the legs to help circulation after surgery. A patient is also encouraged to stretch and exercise the legs to help keep blood flowing. Sometimes blood clots will form anyways despite all these preventions and a patient will need to remain in the hospital two extra days until the clot is dissolved.


Infection is a risk with any surgery but is an even greater risk after hip replacement surgery. Antibiotics are given before, during, and after hip replacement surgery to lower the chances of getting an infection. However, an infection can occur even years after a hop replacement surgery. Bacteria can travel through the bloodstream from an infected source within the body such as an infected wound or kidney infection. All infections should be treated so that it does not spread to the artificial hip. It is also important to take antibiotics before and after any dental work. Any infection that you get within the body has to be treated to prevent the bacteria from spreading to the artificial hip.


Dislocation of the hip replacement can occur after surgery and anytime after you have healed from the procedure. The metal ball can slip out of the plastic socket of the artificial hip. For the first 6 weeks after surgery, the ball is held in the socket by muscle tension. Scar tissue hasn’t formed around the ball yet and the hip muscle isn’t as strong. It is during this six week time that the ball can become dislocated. During this early period after hip replacement surgery, a physical therapist will let you know what movements to avoid. If the ball dislocates from the hip socket, the physician will then pop it back in place.

Dislocation is the most complicated problem of all as one wrong move means everything is back to square one and the doctors alone can help you out regarding further plan of action but an occasional visit to can ease things up a bit.

Complications With Bleeding

After surgery, bleeding can occur and pool into the wound days after hip replacement surgery due to blood thinners. If bleeding occurs, this can cause dislocation of the new hip. Sometimes the bleeding can be so severe that a physician may have to open the wound back up and drain the blood away.

It is important that after surgery you follow your doctor’s order to prevent complications from happening.