Medical experts believe that hip replacement surgery is one of the greatest innovations of the twenty-first century. This surgical procedure has saved many people from the pain of fatal illnesses like arthritis and hip fractures that had paralyzed millions of lives across the globe. Patients can undergo full hip replacement, partial replacement or hip resurfacing. These surgical procedures do not lack complications even though they have been celebrated worldwide. Major manufacturers like Stryker Orthopedics, Biomet, and Zimmer have been accused of selling defective hip products without warning them public of the possible dangers associated with them. Stryker Orthopedics has even been forced to recall some of its best selling products for being defective.
Common Complications Noted in Hip Replacement Lawsuits
There are different types of difficulties that one would face depending on the kind of arthroplasty, and the methods used to treat a patient. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally receives over 400 unique cases of hip arthroplasty complications from different patients in the US annually. The most common failures that have been experienced by most victims of hip replacement failure are explained below:
- Periprostheric Osteolysis: The Orthopaedic Research Institute of Australia reveals that Periprostheric Osteolysis accounts for about 80% of implant failures around the world. Osteolysis occurs as a natural bodily reaction to debris particles from implants. This debris is a product of abrasive wear that occurs from friction between the ball and cup of the implant. Medical professionals explain that the body will release enzymes to try and dissolve or expel debris around from implants. Body enzymes lack the ability to expel debris from metallic and plastic implants. The hip replacement patient’s body will, however, continue to perform a series of cellular reactions in response to the existence of foreign bodies within it. This in turn leads to chronic inflammation, which results in loss of bones around the implants. DePuy may end up paying up to $2.5 billion worth of compensation if each hip replacement lawsuit that has been filed to date is settled appropriately
- Metallosis: Metallosis occurs when implants release debris that builds up in soft tissues that surround the hip joint. An increased buildup of metal debris around the hip joint causes grey discolorations indicating that the cells within that are oxygen starved and are dying. Patients with metal sensitivity disorders are usually at a higher risk of lead poising, in such cases. Although the full impacts of this condition are not known, Metallosis has been frequently linked acute joint pains, implant loosening, cysts formation and visual impairment.
- Dislocation: Unlike the natural hip joint, implants do not have ligaments. This means that proper surgery is critical in avoiding future dislocations. The Orthopaedic Research Institute of Australia estimates that patients face up to 5% chances of dislocation after the first surgery with the risks of dislocation continuing to increase after the second and third surgery with a total dislocation failure rate as high as 35%. Many patients face dislocation within the first three months of operation; it is, however, uncommon, as compared to Metallosis.
Although victims of hip replacement surgery face several complications, theses are the most common problems that have escalated the number of hip replacement lawsuits in the past few years. Other related issues include bacterial infections, and implant fractures, although these hip replacement complications are not nearly as common.
Help for Victims of Hip Arthroplasty Failure
The treatment costs for failed implants are unbearable to the average patient. Even the most minimally invasive of surgical procedures to correct these situations are usually egregiously expensive. Patients should know that they have a legal right to seek compensation if they have suffered because of a defective hip implant. Call an attorney to help you file for a hip replacement lawsuit, if you or any of your loved ones is a victim of a failed partial hip arthroplasty.