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Does Revision Surgery Mean I Got a Bad Hip Implant?

December 5th, 2014 Hip Replacement Recalls

It is expected that by 2030, approximately 572,000 hip replacement surgeries will be taking place each year. As the number of hip replacement surgeries increases, so does the number of revision surgeries that take place. If your doctor is recommending a revision surgery for your hip implant, it does not necessarily mean you got a bad implant—your implant may just need to be replaced due to age. But if your hip implant is not working properly or causing negative side effects, you may want to consider talking to an attorney about a possible hip implant lawsuit claim.

Why Would I Need Revision Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is performed when the hip joint is either too worn or too damaged to function effectively. The causes of hip wear or damage include age, injury or accident, arthritis, or disease that has damaged the bone and surrounding tissue.

If the replacement joint stops working effectively or you experience unforeseen complications, you may need to undergo a second operation for the implant to be removed and replaced with a new implant. Reasons for removing a hip implant and performing revision surgery include:

  • The Original Implant Has Started to Wear out 
    Hip implants have an expected life span of 10 to 20 years. The exact lifespan of your hip implant will vary depending on your lifestyle and the age at which the implant was placed.
  • Complications During Surgery
    Major complications such as infections occur in fewer than 2% of hip replacement surgeries. But when they do occur, they can cause damage to the implant, the blood vessels, the nerves, or the surrounding bone and tissue.
  • Complications Following Surgery 
    Recovery from hip replacement can take several months. Your age and level of fitness will play a central role in the recovery period. However, lack of physical therapy, poor post-operative care, and falls or accidents following the surgery can lead to a revision surgery.
  • Faulty Implants 
    In some cases, there can be a fault with the actual implant, either through the manufacturing process or through the use of new materials that have not been adequately tested to determine their safety.

A prime example is DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, which was designed to provide a longer lasting device and greater flexibility. However, the metal-on-metal construction of these hip implants was found to cause metallosis, or metal poisoning. This means movement of the joint caused microscopic metal fragments to enter the blood stream and cause infections in surrounding tissue. This type of complication is what has caused thousands of patients to file a hip implant lawsuit, especially since these devices have since been recalled by the manufacturer.

The Risks of Revision Surgery

Revision surgery carries many of the same risks as the original surgery. However, where the revision surgery follows soon after the original surgery, there is a greater risk of:

  • Infection
  • Damage to surrounding tissue
  • Dislocation of the joint
  • Shorter life span of the implant
  • Blood clots
  • Bone fractures
  • Change in the length of the affected leg

Where these risks are the result of a faulty replacement joint, you have grounds to consider a hip implant lawsuit.

What Can You Do?

Once you have had your implant for over ten years, you are unlikely to experience complications other than the expected aging of the replacement hip. However, in cases where the hip is failing much earlier, or causing side effects that are threatening your health, further investigation into the causes is required.

If you or a loved one are experiencing complications from your hip implant revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Submit your case for a free legal review with Nolan Caddell Reynolds to see if you should file a hip implant lawsuit claim or call 866-242-0452 today.

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