A Faulty Hip Replacement Could Have Devastating Effects
Posted in Personal Injury on August 25, 2021
Each year, many Americans require hip replacements after suffering a broken bone, dealing with chronic hip pain, or sustaining other types of hip-related complications. Hip replacement surgery can help restore the quality of life for many of these people, and the average patient recovers without experiencing any severe complications.
However, faulty hip replacements can lead to rare, serious side effects that can make a patient’s condition worse than it was before the surgery. If you experience complications due to a defective hip replacement, you may qualify for legal action.
Surgery-Related Hip Replacement Complications
Hip replacement surgery can be an invasive procedure that requires weeks of recovery time. Patients may experience pain, instability, and stiffness after the surgery, but these symptoms typically dissipate over time. Blood clots may also occur, which is a common side effect following many major surgical procedures.
However, a small number of patients may develop severe complications during or after the procedure, including the following.
- Dislocation: This rare condition occurs when the ball portion of the hip implant slips out of the hip socket. Patients are most likely to experience dislocation when the tissue around the implant is healing, making it easier for the device to slip out of place.
- Nerve damage: A patient may sustain permanent damage to his or her nerves or blood vessels after the surgery. The medical team may sever these structures as they cut through tissue during the procedure, leading to a loss of sensation in the affected area.
- Heterotopic ossification: This condition occurs when bone grows in the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues around the implant, leading to severe pain. Bone growth related to heterotopic ossification is often much faster than regular bone development.
- Infection: The use of unsanitary tools or implants, a dirty hospital environment, and other sources of contamination can lead to infections after hip surgery. Infections can be extremely deadly if not caught in time, and patients may need additional surgery to recover from these conditions.
Long-Term Complications for Hip Replacements
Certain types of hip replacements, such as metal-on-metal implants, can lead to severe and potentially fatal conditions with long-term use. One of these conditions is known as metallosis, which occurs when metallic debris builds up in the body’s soft tissues. As a result, the tissue surrounding the implant dies, increasing the risk of a dislocation. If left untreated, the metal particles from the implant could enter the bloodstream and lead to severe injury or death.
While surgeons have moved away from using metal-on-metal implants due to this risk, other types of implants are not exempt from serious side effects. Osteolysis is a condition where debris from the artificial hip, such as plastic particles, accumulates in the surrounding tissue. Like metallosis, this condition can lead to inflammation that destroys the bone and surrounding tissue and may loosen the implant.
Implants may also fail, its components may loosen, or a patient may suffer a severe allergic reaction to the implant’s materials. There are several long-term complications that accompany hip surgeries, and while they may be rare, they can lead to devastating side effects.
If you sustained an injury following your hip surgery, you may have grounds for legal action. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your complication, you could file a medical malpractice claim against a negligent healthcare provider, or you could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product. To determine whether or not you are eligible for a claim, speak to a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.