Failed hip replacement

A hip replacement may last for 20 years or more, but sometimes a hip replacement can fail. This can happen because the bearing wears out, the replacement parts fail or because there is a problem with the tissue or bones around the replaced joint.


When your hip replacement fails, you may feel pain in the joint, or the joint may not move the way it normally does, and it becomes unstable.

Causes and risk factors

A hip replacement may fail for reasons such as:

  • Loosening of the implant from the bone after years of wear and tear
  • Worn-out bearings of the replacement parts due to time or an overly active lifestyle
  • Infection in the joint
  • Injury with a fracture
  • Repeated dislocations of the replaced hip

Treatment options

Treatment of a failed hip replacement often requires surgery, depending on the type of failure.

Last reviewed: 
July 2018

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