Hip Replacement Lawsuits: What Are They, And Why Are They Filed?

Hip replacement surgery is a complex procedure and with severe ramifications if things go awry. Patients who are forced to undergo revision surgery due to a botched procedure often take recourse by filing for hip replacement lawsuits. This article covers the basics of hip replacement surgery, along with the risk factors attached to the procedure.

What Are Hip Replacements?

Hip replacement is a complicated medical operation performed to swap the diseased or damaged hip joint with a healthier alternative. Over the years, medicine has improved drastically, with technologies and doctors aiming towards less invasive surgery, recovery times, and long-term sustainable results for the patient. This has been the case of hip replacement surgeries too.

Why Are Hip Replacements Needed?

The hip joint performs the all-important function of providing the human body with vertical mobility. It is one of the largest joints in the body, with a ball and socket mechanism. The movement of the ball and socket is facilitated by slick cartilage that allows for smooth movement. This is called the synovial membrane. In addition, ligaments and muscles around the hip joint ensure stability and steady movement of the joint.

It is crucial to consult an orthopedic surgeon if you notice pain, discomfort, and stiffness in your hip joints. Excessive pressure on the joint can lead to inflammation, leading to possible deformation. A damaged hip joint can be the cause of multiple medical problems and pain.

In addition, hip joints are susceptible to damage caused by arthritis, fractures, dislocations, and other conditions hindering the movement of the hips.  Hip replacements are conducted when the patient does not see any relief from oral medications or physical therapy.

What to Expect From a Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery aims to replace the injured hip joint consisting of bones and cartilage with prosthetics. These prosthetics are generally made of high-grade metal, which is hypoallergenic and long-lasting. Metal prosthetics are used to replace the femoral head and damaged cartilage. These prosthetics come in the form of a metal stem and socket. A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is placed between the new joint to provide a slick surface for easy movement.

Risks Involved in Getting a Hip Replacement Surgery

Now that you’re aware of hip replacement surgery, it is crucial to know the risks involved with this procedure. Hip implants are meant to last for up to 20 years or longer, depending upon the maintenance it requires. In some cases, hip implants can require early replacement and surgery.

Here are some of the risks involved with hip replacement surgery:

  1. Infections on the surgery and incision site. Most infections can be treated with oral antibiotics. However, serious infections need to be treated with revision surgery.
  2. Dislocations of hip joints and implants- this generally happens in the first few months of the surgery
  3. Fracturing the hip joint. Treatment for this includes pins, bone grafts, and metal plates.
  4. The hip implant getting loose, which may require surgery to fix.
  5. There is a risk of blood clots forming in the hip joint and escaping to crucial organs like the heart, lungs, or brain. Patients are generally prescribed blood thinners to combat this risk.
  6. Metallosis, or metal on the metal prosthesis. Defective implants can lead to metal ions being released into the bloodstream, causing metallosis.

If you identify any of the above symptoms and signs, you must visit your doctor immediately and seek treatment. Prolonged discomfort and pain can lead to severe hindrances in your mobility along with expensive medical bills.

Signs of a Defective Hip Implant

Once you’ve got hip replacement surgery, it is essential to look for signs and symptoms of things going awry. Symptoms of a defective hip implant can include:

  1. Bing radiating from the hip or pelvic area, especially by conducting everyday activities like walking bending
  2. Any sounds coming from the hip replacement like squeaking, popping, or clicking
  3. Difficulty or pain in walking or putting pressure on the hip joint

Hip Replacement Lawsuits

People have filed hundreds of hip replacement lawsuits relating to tools, medical mismanagement, and watched surgeries in the past decades. A report published in 2002 suggests that hip implant manufacturers have paid more than $7.5 billion in settlement of these lawsuits. Most hip replacement lawsuits revolve around metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by different companies. If you suspect your doctor or hospital of malpractice, you can file a lawsuit to seek due compensation.