Replacing a hip joint is a serious surgical procedure and some manufacturers have had problems with hip joint design, materials, and warnings. The damaged hip joint, or one that is arthritic, is surgically removed and replaced with a manmade ball and socket joint built from metal, hard plastic, or ceramic components. Surgery is an option if other treatments do not relieve the pain caused by a damaged or arthritic hip joint.
However, patients who have had medical issues with a replacement hip joint may have legal cause to sue for compensatory damages. That is why it is so important to speak with a Boca Raton hip replacement lawyer who has helped many hip replacement patients achieve compensation. An experienced mass torts attorney can work diligently to build your personal injury case.
Hip Replacement Risks
The hip replacement process can involve several risks, reports the Mayo Clinic. The following are examples that are considered acceptable risks of hip replacement surgery:
- Blood clots can form in the leg following surgery and break off traveling to the lung, heart and sometimes, though rare, to the brain. Blood thinners can lessen the risk
- Infection can happen at the incision and in tissue near the replacement hip. A serious infection near the new prosthesis may require another surgery to change the prosthesis
- Fractures of the healthy parts of the hip can happen during surgery. Large fractures may need mending with pins, wires, and perhaps bone graphs or a metal plate
- Dislocation caused by the new hip joint becoming dislodged can happen in a few months following surgery, requiring a brace to keep it in place. If a new hip joint continues to relocate another surgery is often necessary
- Leg length changes can happen, making one leg shorter or longer than the other because of contracting muscles around the new hip. Muscles stretching and strengthening can help
- Loosening of newer hip joints may happen over time, causing pain and perhaps mean another surgery
Hip replacement products that cause injury are adjudicated by product liability law. To win a case, the injured party must prove that the replacement product had a design flaw or a defect in manufacturing, or the company making the product failed to provide adequate warning about the product’s hazards. A skilled Boca Raton hip replacement lawyer can help a person attempt to prove that the replacement product was defective.
Metal-to-Metal Hip Joints
Many artificial hip joints are built using polished ceramic or metal fitted into a cup liner made of hard plastic. Metal liners were often used at one time but the metal-to-metal rubbing caused toxic metallic dust to enter the blood resulting in bone erosion, groin pain, inflammation, and tissue death.
The metal-to-metal components did last longer than other types but they have not been used often in the last 10 years or so.
Many artificial hip joints today use a polished metal or ceramic ball fitting into a liner comprised of hard plastic.
Hip Replacement Recalls
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rarely used its authority to recall hip replacement products, only three times in 20 years, reports the Consumer Union. Companies have voluntarily recalled products, and following law, report the recalls to the FDA. Six companies that make hip replacements recalled 578 devices between 2003 and 2013 after patient complaints, including hip implants using ceramic zirconia, which fractured.
Companies recalling hip replacements were Biomet, Stryker Orthopedics, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, and Zimmer Inc.
Speak with a Boca Raton Hip Replacement Attorney Today
A Boca Raton hip replacement lawyer invites those who have suffered a hip replacement failure to arrange for a no cost consultation without any obligation. Your attorney can determine if a personal injury lawsuit can win, explain the law, and answer questions. Personal injury lawyers do not charge fees unless they win the case, and if the case is won the fee is paid from the damages awarded.