Joint Replacement Complications

Inner West Hip & Knee Clinic

Post-operative complications following total joint replacement

Practitioner Information

Early post operative complications:

  • Infection
  • Thromboembolism
  • Dislocation
Early increase in pain, redness or significant swelling around the wound are indications to refer the patient straight back to the treating surgeon.

Calf pain, swelling of the ankle or calf should be investigated urgently.

Chest symptoms should be investigated for a pulmonary embolus and are best treated in a hospital environment.

Sudden pain in the hip and shortening of the leg indicates dislocation, which needs urgent x-ray and referral.

Long term major complications:

  • Infection
  • Loosening
If the patient develops pain in their joint of a relatively quick onset, particularly associated with any other operative procedure, infection should be suspected and investigated. It is very important to the patient’s primary treating physician that, if the patient has any operative or dental procedures, they are covered by suitable antibiotics. This is because bacteria seeding into the joint from any bacteraemia is possible.

Loosening can occur at any time and this is why the patient should be seen by their orthopaedic surgeon every year or two after the initial rehabilitation phase. X-rays may pick up changes which do not become symptomatic for a significant period of time.

If you have a patient with a problematic joint replacement, please click here to refer them to Inner West Hip and Knee Clinic for specialist assessment.

For appointments and enquiries please phone   02 9735 3637

Inner West Hip & Knee Clinic
16 Robert Street
Ashfield NSW 2131

Waratah Private Hospital
Suite 204, Level 2
31 Dora Street
Hurstville NSW 2220
Fax: 02 9735 3635

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