Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuit
The number of hip replacements has skyrocketed over the last 10 years. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone.
Hip replacement surgery can be the difference between someone spending the rest of their life immobile and in pain and getting a second chance at living a normal life. While the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) calls hip replacements one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine, a growing number of people need revision surgery.
What is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a hip joint and replaces it with a hip replacement system. During a total hip replacement, sometimes called a total hip arthroplasty, bone and cartilage that may have been damaged are also removed and replaced.
Hip replacement surgery is not necessary for everyone. Some people can live fulfilling lives by taking medication to manage the pain in their hip. But, when the pain begins to limit activity and continues at all hours of the day, a doctor may recommend the procedure.
According to Dr. Jared Foran from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, some of the most common causes of pain that may require hip replacement surgery include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Avascular necrosis
- Childhood hip disease
When is Hip Revision Surgery Necessary?
While the majority of people have positive experiences after hip replacement, a growing number of people are starting to need revision surgery.
Hip revision surgery is when the current hip implant in your body begins to fail or experience issues and you need subsequent surgeries to fix any problems.
These are the most common reasons for hip replacement surgeries, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery:
- Implant wear
- Dislocation of implant
- Implant loosening
- Mechanical failure
- Metal poisoning
- Implant Breakage
Risks Associated with Hip Revision Surgery
Unlike the original hip replacement surgery, revision surgery is a much more complex procedure that often takes several hours.
The doctor must carefully examine the tissue around the implant to make sure it’s not infected and must determine which components have become damaged. Because cement is sometimes used to secure the implant, it takes time to remove the cement from the bone. The implant then has to be removed and replaced.
Revision surgery presents a greater risk of complications.
The AAOS says the most common risks include:
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Leg-length inequality
- Heterotopic ossification
- Damage to nerves or blood vessels
- Failure of the bone to attach to the metal implant
- Implant loosening
Recovery from revision surgery is typically slower. While most people who undergo revision surgery see improvements, some patients still experience pain and implant problems after.
Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Recall
Many medical device companies make hip implant devices that are touted as more durable to older types of implants. These companies are Biomet, DePuy, Stryker, Zimmer, Wright, and Smith & Nephew.
As the number of people receiving hip replacements rise, the number of complications associated with the implants made by these companies rise too.
In many cases, these companies have designed implants that failed earlier than expected, leaving patients injured and in need of complicated revision surgery. Metal-on-metal implants have been the culprit in many failures.
Smith & Nephew was the maker of the first metal-on-metal implant to hit the market in the United States. These types of implants use metal components instead of those made of plastic or other materials. They were originally thought to be more durable and last longer. However, post-market studies have revealed metal-on-metal implants have a higher rate of failure than other implants.
In June 2015, Smith & Nephew issued an “Urgent Field Safety Notice” of its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant after post-market surveillance revealed some patients had a greater risk of revision surgery when implanted with the device.
Doctors were warned to keep an eye on patients with the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant.
Consumers File Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuits
For some patients, the market withdrawal from Smith & Nephew came far too late.
Countless patients were implanted with the metal-on-metal implants and had to undergo revision surgery to stop the metal components from poisoning the surrounding tissue or repair implants.
Several types of hip implants have been recalled or pulled from the market over the past few years for similar safety issues. For example, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy issued a Class 2 Recall in 2010 for its Acetabular Cup System.
In one case, Cheryl Elmore underwent hip resurfacing in 2008 with the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant. After two weeks, she began to suffer loosening, requiring her to undergo revision surgery. A year later, she experienced more loosening of the hip joint.
By 2010, she had to undergo another revision surgery after tests showed higher levels of metal in her blood.
She filed a lawsuit against Smith & Nephew in 2012.
Why Should I File a Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuit?
Elmore’s case is just one example of thousands who experienced similar failures from devices that were marketed as safe and effective. Companies like Smith & Nephew and Biomet have settled thousands of metal-on-metal implant claims against them but continue to deny any liability.
A company like DePuy has yet to issue a recall of its Pinnacle hip implants despite reports of high failure rates.
Countless people are still out there who have suffered severely after being implanted with one of their defective devices and have yet to receive any compensation or apology.
Filing a hip revision surgery lawsuit not only gets you compensation for your complications but also holds companies accountable for their actions.