What Is Soft Tissue Hip Reconstruction?
Soft tissue hip reconstructions are generally performed when a patient is still experiencing severe pain after a hip replacement The procedure involves the reconstruction of the muscles and other soft tissues that may need repairing.
After a patient has undergone a hip replacement, the new prosthesis can sometimes disturb the soft tissue and muscles around it. During the initial surgery, the muscles and tendons must be divided in order to reach the intended surgical area. A lot of time is spent reconstructing these as the incisions are closed.
When patients are able to stand and bear weight on the new hip the muscles contract strongly and the repaired tissue or muscle can pull apart.
If this happens, patients will feel a lot of pain in the buttock, making it uncomfortable to do anything including sit on the affected side.
It is not common for patients to experience this, but it is well-documented in research and can be identified with a follow up MRI scan.
Wear and tear of the hip joint can also cause gluteal tendons in and around the buttocks to break down, which can also require reconstruction. If this issue has not been addressed during the original hip replacement surgery, then pain may persist.
When tendons have been pulled apart they must be reconstructed in order to relieve the pain being felt.
The repair can be done arthroscopically through the original surgical incisions or a new incision will be made around the affected area. If the gluteal tendons have separated from the bone, then they need to be reattached and reconstructed. If the problem is due to tendons at the back of the hip being pulled apart, then the pain can be improved by releasing the sciatic nerve where it may be trapped by scar tissue.
Complications and risks
The most common complication that is experienced post-surgery is blood clots.
There is also a slight possibility that the repaired tendon will fail to stay attached to the bone and therefore pain and further problems may follow. There is a less than 3% chance of these complications occurring, and all precautions will be taken.
Rehabilitation and Recovery
After the surgery, most patients will go home straight away.
Immediate full weight bearing on the leg is not advised, although you should move around as much as you can with aid (e.g. crutches) to maintain good muscle tone and strength. After six weeks, you should be able to transition to one crutch on the opposite side to the operation site and then onto a stick and full weight bearing soon after. As muscles become weak when seldom used, they may be sore and regular exercises will help to improve this over time.