A hip replacement is done to correct a problem with the bones and joint of the hip-part of the bone and joint is removed and is replaced with a synthetic hip joint that is usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint replacement is done to try and reduce pain and improve function of the hip in terms of mobility and weight bearing capacity. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement and it is often done when the pain and mobility issues get to the point that they greatly interfere with the quality of everyday living and when other methods of treatment and pain management have proven to be ineffective.
Why Hip Replacements Are Done
Conditions that can damage the hip and lead to the need for a replacement include:
Commonly known as wear and tear damage this form of arthritis affects the joint and the deterioration of the bone and cartilage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
A type of autoimmune condition this type of arthritis can be very painful and can also be slow to respond to traditional treatments.
When an inadequate blood supply is delivered to the ball portion of the hip joint, the bone can die and break, collapse, or dislocate.
Many people consider hip replacement when they are living with pain that:
- Persists, even with medication and other therapies and treatments
- Worsens when walking or standing, even when using a cane or walker
- Interferes with the ability to get to sleep or stay asleep all night long
- Makes you more likely to fall when climbing stairs or walking longer distances
- Makes it difficult to stand up when seated or get up out of bed on your own
Risks Involved With Hip Replacements
Even though they have been done for decades, there are risks involved with hip replacements and hip implants, the most common include:
- Blood clots.
Any surgery brings a risk for blood clots but due to the extended down time and the invasive nature of the surgery hip replacement caries a very high risk.
Infections are common after many surgeries and when major joints and muscles and blood vessels are involved the risk is even higher.
During surgery, the bone may fracture or break as it is being worked on, causing more of the bone to need replacement during the procedure.
During recovery as the bones fuse to the new prosthetic, certain positions can cause the hip to dislocate out of its socket.
- Change in leg length.
All possible steps are taken to avoid this but there can be some change to the length of the leg being operated on once healing is completed.
- Second Procedure.
Depending on your lifestyle and what your daily habits are like, you may need a second procedure down the road to maintain a health hip joint.
Lawsuits and Recalls
More than 3,400 people sued Stryker after problems with its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip led the company to pull the implants off the market. The company settled lawsuits over the devices in 2014. Less than two years later, the company recalled 42,000 other implants, triggering a new wave of lawsuits against the company. Stryker has paid nearly $2 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. The deadline to file a lawsuit under the settlement was March 2017. Stryker expected all settlement payments to be delivered by the end of 2017. As of February 2018, more than 1,800 lawsuits were still pending in a Minnesota federal court as part of a Multi District Litigation (MDL). Complications included corrosion and fretting, which allow shards of metallic components to leach into a patient’s tissues, bones and bloodstream. The side effects can cause a condition known as metallosis, a type of metal poisoning. Another hip stem, the Accolade TMZF, has also been associated with adverse health events. The company recalled the product in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 because of packaging and manufacturing errors. About 1,700 units were affected by the recalls, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
If you have questions about what your legal rights are and whether you have grounds for a lawsuit or a right to join a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of your hip prosthetics, give us a call. We look forward to meeting with you and will review your case and discuss your options with you.