The basis of a hip replacement lawsuit

Hip replacement lawsuits are product liability lawsuits. They can be filed by individuals who suffered severe injuries because of a defective hip implant. Hip implants are medical devices designed to replace a partially or completely damaged natural hip. The natural hip is a ball and socket joint. The round ball at the top of the femur fits inside the hole called acetabulum. As it moves allows individuals to perform a wide range of movements. When a part of the mechanism is damaged people will no longer be able to move without pain or discomfort. Of course there are various ways to treat an affected hip, but when all treatments become inefficient, an implant is the final solution.

Hip replacements are not rare. In the U.S. alone there are around 300,000 surgeries performed each year. The surgery itself has a high success rate, but the recovery period is long and usually demanding. So before deciding to perform a hip implant every surgeon will consider several aspects like the age of the patients, his bone density and his general health. Every patient will require up to six months of recovery during which they will have to learn how to perform different movements, from the simplest to the more complex ones. However once the surgery completed, they should be able to perform everyday movements for at least 15 years without further discomfort or pain.

Unfortunately certain patients experienced something completely different. Despite the predicted 15 years they were noticing severe problems within the first five years after surgery. When in 2010 DePuy Orthopaedics recalled two of its own hip replacement systems, it became known how many people were actually affected by a defective implant. 13% of the patients suffered premature implant failure. The problem occurs when the components of the device become loose and are no longer correctly attached to the bone. The situation can result in bone tissue damage or even hip fracture. To avoid such injuries often the only solution is hip revision surgery. During the surgical procedure the defective implant is removed and replaced with a new one. Unfortunately for affected patients this means additional medical bills, lost wages, more pain and suffering and an even longer recovery period.

However this is not the only reason of the recall. The devices in question were metal-on-metal hip implants. As the components were constantly rubbing against each other they were releasing tiny metal fragments into the surrounding soft tissues. Besides discomfort, redness and swelling in the area, metal ions can be more dangerous. If they manage to enter the blood stream, they can affect different organs, including the heart or even the nervous system.

Recalling the product was a smart decision of the manufacturing company. It protects them from future product liability lawsuits and it also increases the company’s credibility. Unfortunately this doesn’t help individuals who already have the device implanted. By admitting that they are defective and dangerous, the company basically warned former patients about the fact that they can expect problems. What these patients should know is that in case the device actually fails, they have the right to file injury claims. A personal injury attorney can investigate the circumstances of their case and establish whether there is a valid legal claim. If that is the case, injured patients will be entitled to receive financial compensation from the manufacturing company. no download slots

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