Total hip replacement, in which the head of the femur and its socket are replaced, is performed to alleviate pain and restore motion to hips damaged by arthritis, degenerative bone or cartilage diseases, or other injuries and diseases. In recent years, the number of hip replacement surgeries has been on the rise and is expected to continue to increase in the coming decades.
Here are a few striking statistics about hip replacements:
- In 2010, 310,800 total hip replacements were performed among inpatients aged 45 and over.
- The number and rate of total hip replacements among inpatients aged 45 and over increased from 2000 to 2010: from 138,700 to 310,800 in number and from a rate of 142.2 to 257.0 per 100,000 population.
- The age distribution of inpatients aged 45 and over who received total hip replacements changed significantly between 2000 and 2010, with the percentage of total hip replacements increasing for younger age groups and decreasing for older age groups.
- The average length of stay after total hip replacement among inpatients aged 45 and over decreased from 2000 to 2010, from nearly 5 days to just under 4 days.
Hip replacement is a major surgery that requires a lengthy, and often painful, recovery process. According to Medical News Today, short-term recovery can take anywhere from four to six weeks. During that time, patients will be given a walker a day or two following surgery to help stabilize them as they begin walking and using their new hip. By the third postoperative day, most patients are able to go home. Short-term recovery also includes weaning from painkillers and having an uninterrupted night’s sleep, without the assistance of pain or sleeping medications.
Long-term recovery can take up to six months and includes the complete healing of surgical incisions and soft-tissue repair. Once a person is able to enjoy the same daily activities they enjoyed prior to surgery, they are well on their way to a full recovery. Full recovery is achieved when patients are able to do more than they were immediately prior to the operation.
Symptoms of Hip Replacement Failure
Because of the lengthy and often difficult recovery process associated with hip replacements, it can be difficult to identify which symptoms are a part of a “normal” recovery process and which are abnormal and are, therefore, an indication of hip replacement failure. If you have a metal-on-metal or 2nd generation modular hip implant, and you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your surgeon for further evaluation:
- Hip/groin pain
- Noise from the joint
- Difficulty walking
- Worsening of your previous symptoms
- Skin rashes
- Auditory or visual impairments
- Depression or cognitive impairment
- Renal function impairment
- Neck discomfort
- Weight gain
(Source: US Food & Drug Administration)
Even if you’re not currently experiencing these symptoms, but you’ve had hip replacement surgery, you should contact your surgeon to find out which hip replacement you have. It may be one of the many implants the FDA ordered further safety studies on or is one that has already been recalled.
Treatment for Hip Replacement Failure
If you experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s especially important to tell your medical provider that you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement as metal ions may have entered your bloodstream. Often, a complete hip revision is necessary (FDA). During a hip revision, the faulty device is removed and replaced with a newer, safer model. Fluid and dead tissue surrounding the joint may be removed as well.
In Orthopedics Today, Kevin Bozic, MD, MBA, noted that “According to the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database, which is a stratified, statistically valid survey of inpatient hospital visits in the United States, there are almost 40,000 revision total hip arthroplasties (THAs) performed annually in the United States. This number has steadily increased over the past 20 years, and is expected to continue to increase over the next several decades. This increase is primarily due to an increased incidence of primary THA procedures, an expansion of the indications for THA to include younger, more active patients, and limitations in implant longevity.”
Legal Recourse for Hip Replacement Failure
Hip revisions can be costly, time-consuming, and painful. Hospitalization and physical therapy are often necessary to return to normal function. In many cases, revision surgeries are even more difficult and take longer to perform than the original operation.
If you think that your hip replacement surgery was a failure, contact us to learn more about your options. For compassionate legal counsel or to find out if your hip implant has been recalled, contact The Law Offices of Foster & Houston or call us at (877) 377-5411.
Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/153767.php
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db186.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00625
Journal of Arthroplasty: http://www.arthroplastyjournal.org/article/S0883-5403(15)00232-6/abstract
Orthopedics Today: https://www.healio.com/orthopedics/hip/news/print/orthopedics-today/%7B2a4b42dd-4740-47bc-983c-21374508c6bb%7D/the-increasing-number-of-tha-revisions-in-the-united-states-why-is-it-happening