Hip replacements are among the most common orthopedic procedures in the United States. The operation is performed more than 300,000 times in the United States each year. During the procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged section of the hip joint and replaces it with artificial parts constructed of metal, ceramic, or hard plastic. Arthritis damage is the most common reason that individuals undergo hip replacement procedures. The artificial joint (prosthesis) is intended to help reduce pain and improve function. However, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a hip device failure and the potential complications that can occur.
Medical device manufacturers have a duty to design a reasonably safe hip device. Unfortunately, certain types of artificial hip devices which contain metal on metal interfaces can cause metal wear and metalloids, which releases metal ions in the body. This metal contamination can cause damage to the tissue and muscle around the hip joint causing the need for hip revision surgery. These metal-on-metal hip components are often not reasonably safe, and have been linked to causing thousands of patients’ harm over the years.
How Do I Know If My Hip Device Has Failed?
The following are symptoms of hip device failure:
- Pain in the hip
- Pain in the groin
- Pain in the thigh
- Limited mobility
- Feeling that the hip joint might “give out”
- Lack of flexibility
- Trouble walking
- Sense that the hip joint is unsafe
- Swelling in the hip area
- Inflammation in the hip area
- Difficulty standing
- Decreased mobility and range of motion
- Creaking or squeaking noise in the hip joint area
- Increased pain while performing weight-bearing and/or physical activities
*Please contact your medical providers regarding questions or concerns you have pertaining to your hip device. This content is not meant to be or replace medical advice.
Complications of Hip Device Failure
Injuries from a hip device failing include:
- Blood clots
- Change in leg length
- Loosening of the implant
- Bleeding nerve injury
Metallosis is the buildup of metal levels within the blood and/or in the body tissues. When metal-on-metal hip devices are used, the artificial hip cup and ball grind together. This can result in tiny metal shavings being released into the body and elevating metal levels.
Pseudotumors are abnormal tissue growth that occurs in reaction to metal particles being released near the site of the hip replacement. Pseudotumors are non-cancerous.
Blood clots can form in the leg veins after surgery. These blood clots can become dangerous because a piece of the clot can break off and travel throughout the bloodstream to the lung, heart, or brain.
Infections can occur at the site of the hip device incision and into the deeper tissues near the new hip device.
Certain surgical positions of the hip device can cause the ball of the new joint to come out of the socket. This is especially possible in the first few months after the surgery. Dislocation is more likely in patients who are female, older, had a previous hip surgery, have weak muscles surrounding the hip, had hip replacement surgery, or has poor hip stability due to osteonecrosis, inflammatory arthritis, or another pre-existing condition.
Change in Leg Length
The new hip device can make one leg longer or shorter than the other. This can be caused by the contraction of muscles around the hip.
The nerves in the area where the implant is placed can be injured. This can cause numbness, weakness, and pain.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
If you or a loved one has been harmed by the failure of your hip device, contact the Defective Medical Device Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw. With more than thirty years of litigation experience, we will provide you with the Gold standard of advocacy that you deserve. Contact us today!