When your hip hurts, walking can turn from a necessity to misery with every step. Advances in medical technology have resulted in artificial joints that act and feel as natural as the depleted bones they are replacing. Unfortunately, hip joints can fail, and oftentimes the problems can be traced back to the manufacturer of the artificial implant. Read to find why some implants end up causing hip problem victims to suffer pain and illness after hip replacement surgery.
Artificial Hip Joints
Almost every joint in the human body can be replaced by artificial ones. The results can be miraculous, allowing those who've suffered for years to finally walk and enjoy the mobility they lost. Many patients are not given a choice when it comes to choosing an artificial implant – often, the orthopedic surgeon has their own preferences. In fact, it's not unusual for patients to not even know what type of hip they have, much less the manufacturer. There are dozens of makers of artificial devices out there and hip joints can be made of cobalt, plastic, chromium, or ceramics.
The Problem With Implants
For the most part, hip joints do their job and do it well. Many implants last well beyond the predicted or estimated time, which can be particularly encouraging for the increasing numbers of younger people under the age of 60 receiving implants. On the other hand, implants made of metallic materials, like cobalt and chromium, have a tendency to cause metallosis in some implant patients.
Metallosis and Hip Implants
Metallosis occurs when the metal in an artificial hip joint begins to shed from the implant and invade the victim's bloodstream. While the impact of metal on the body has not been verified through studies, there is little doubt that a hip implant that loses metal will deteriorate. Pain and infection soon follow a failing implant and there are few options but to perform another surgery to replace the hip. Hip replacement surgery is major surgery and victims of these defective hip joints can expect to spend several months recovering. In some cases, secondary hip implants are not as successful as the first one due to the loss of thigh bone which anchors the implant.
Speak to an Attorney
The manufacturer of hip implants are responsible for paying victims for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and even punitive damages. Speak to your doctor and ascertain the type of implant you have and who manufactured it and request copies of all related medical records. There are some class action lawsuits already in progress, so see an attorney at a firm such as Adams Jordan & Herrington PC about your implant case today.