Hip replacement is a common medical procedure, but although the technology associated with the surgery has developed and improved over time, it is still possible to encounter a variety of complications after undergoing hip replacement.
One of the primary dangers of this surgery is the formation of blood clots, which can break off and travel to your lungs, heart or brain. The effects of this can be deadly. Blood-thinning medications can help reduce the risk of fatal blood clots. Other possible complications include infection at the incision site, small fractures during the surgery itself, loosening or dislocation of the prosthesis, and small changes in leg length. Many of these difficulties, if they persist, must be treated with additional surgery.
Particularly if it’s been many years since you had a hip replaced, you may wind up requiring a second surgery, as some types of older materials have been known to deteriorate. Metal-on-metal prosthetic hip joints are for the most part risky because, although they are less likely to break, they do release metals into your bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of complications. For this reason, such joints have become far less common.
However, some companies were still manufacturing such devices very recently. DePuy and Stryker, two major manufacturers of orthopedic prostheses, had products on the market until 2010 and 2012 respectively, at which points they were declared defective and recalled. In both cases, the gradual wearing down of metals was causing inflammation, bone deterioration and severe pain in patients with recently replaced hips, who were expecting their new devices to last for many more years.
If you have had hip replacement surgery — particularly with parts manufactured by DePuy or Stryker — and have suffered complications related to a defective prosthetic, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego injury attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire to learn more about your legal options.