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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hip and Knee

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When surgery is performed there is always a risk of complications. Fortunately risks associated with hip arthroscopy are less than 1% and hip replacements less that 20%.

Complications that can occur with any operation:

  • Anaesthetic
  • Urinary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Vascular
  • Cardiac
  • Death

Hip arthroscopy - possible complications:

  • Neurological (e.g. paralysis of upper leg, loss of feeling on the outer part of the thigh, impotence)
  • Vascular (e.g. bleeding during surgery, bleeding after surgery, deep-vein thrombosis)
  • Infective (although very rare, less than 1 in 1000 procedures, if it does happen it can be a major problem for the hip joint)
  • Inflammatory
  • Skin (e.g. thickened scar, tears in the area of the vagina, presure sores, damaged genitalia from skin becoming trapped between the thigh and the traction bollard, delayed healing)
  • Symptomatic (a small percentage of patients,5%, have worse pain in the hip after arthroscopic surgery. 10-15% do not report worse pain, but have no improvement in their symptoms)
  • Thigh numbness (generally goes away within a few weeks after the procedure, but in same cases can last long-term)

Hip replacement - possible complications:


  • Nerve damage
  • Vascular damage
  • Fracture
  • Leg length inequality
  • Anaesthetic

Post operative - possible complications

  • Dislocation
  • Infections
  • Trochanteric problems
  • Knee pain
  • Swollen ankles
  • Skin complications

Long-term - possible complicatiions

  • Loosening
  • Bone stock less
  • Component fracture
  • Late dislocation
  • Late infection
  • Bone fracture
  • Ectopic ossification