Hip Replacement Surgery and Hip Implant Complications

Hip replacement implant isolated on white
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More than 500,000 Americans have had hip replacement surgery and may have metal on metal implants manufactured by companies like Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Wright Medical Technology, Biomet and other manufacturers. Studies show metal-on-metal implants have greater risk of loosening or early failure. Patients from all over the nation filed lawsuits against manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacements over defective implants. According to a 2011 study of UK patient registries the devices have a high failure rate, as high as 43% for one model manufactured by De Puy. Several models have been recalled by their manufacturers; the UK’s National Institute of Health recently acted to restrict orthopedic implants with a failure rate above 5%, a restriction that will affect every metal-on-metal hip implant currently on the market.

Hip Replacement Surgery and It Types

A hip replacement is the process in which an injured hip joint is replaced with hip implant. Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes a painful hip joint with arthritis and replaces it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components which is called Implant. This is the decision or last option when all other treatment options have failed to provide sufficient pain relief. The process should alleviate a painful hip joint, making walking easier. Patients require differing degrees of replacements, such as total or partial implants, and new hips are made from plastic, ceramic and metal materials. However, not all implants are safe, and some can cause serious complications.

There are three types of hip replacement surgery. Total hip replacement involves surgery to replace the ends of both bones in a damaged joint to create new joint surfaces. Partial hip replacement requires only the ball (femoral head) to be replaced. In a hip resurfacing procedure, the cup is replaced, but the ball is not. Instead, the ball is reshaped and covered with a metal cap. Today patients have many options for hip replacement surgery. There are several companies, who manufacture Hip replacement device, including:

  • DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System
  • DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System
  • DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System
  • Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implants
  • Stryker Rejuvenate Hip System
  • Stryker ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems
  • Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System
  • Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Devices
  • Wright CONSERVE Plus Hip Devices
  • Wright PROFEMURE Z Stem

The Potential Complications of Hip Replacement Surgery

Every surgical procedure has risks and benefits. Total hip replacement, partial hip replacement and hip resurfacing have unique risks. Hip Replacement Surgery has helped millions of people overcome painful arthritis, recover from hip fractures and improve their quality of life. However, it is associated with several life-threatening risks and complications. Some complications are minor, while some may require additional surgeries or even a new implant to correct. Some of the complications associated with the hip replacement surgery include:

  • Blood clots: Clots can form in leg veins after surgical procedure. This can be dangerous because a piece of a clot can break off and it has the high chances that can travel to your lung, heart or rarely your brain.
  • Infection: can take place at the spot of incision and in the deeper tissue near new hip. According to a recent study, approximately 1.0% of patients get an infection in the first two years. Infections are mostly treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near prosthesis may require surgery to remove and replace the prosthesis.
  • Fracture: Sometimes healthy portions of hip joint may fracture, during surgical procedure. Some fractures are so small that they restore to health on their own, but larger fractures needs to be corrected with wires, pins and possibly bone grafts.
  • Dislocation: After surgery, patient is not suppose to bend more than 90 degrees at the hip and don’t let leg cross the midline of your body, as these convinced positions can make ball of new hip joint to become free.
  • Change in leg length: Usually, any difference in leg length is very small and does not cause any pain or functional problem. If you have a noticeable difference, it can often be corrected by using a shoe insert. The surgeon will always endeavor to keep leg length discrepancy to a minimum.
  • Loosening: loosening is the most common problem associated with total hip replacement. Tissue may grow between the components and the bone, leading to loosening.

The replacement of hip in some cases causes death but it is rare. In some cases, the new hip joint may not be completely stable and revision surgery may be needed to correct it. In the initial months after surgery the risk is higher. Physicians should select a correct method and use proper implant devices considering patient health as well as the condition of the knee. Many hip replacement devices have been linked to harmful injuries such as loosening, dislocation or metallosis. Families who lost a loved one due to the complications occur by the surgery may be eligible to file a wrongful death hip implant lawsuit. Contact we have an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs Lawsuits and evaluate your claim confidentially and free of cost unless we win the case.

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