Florida Hip Surgery Injury LawsuitsHip replacement surgery is often painful and comes with long recovery times. In the long run, however, your new hip should reduce the pain you felt before the surgery, increase your range of motion, and allow you to return to your previous life. However, not all hip replacement surgeries go according to plan and patients can find themselves in continued pain. Some may even require a hip replacement revision surgery. If your hip replacement has failed, you should work with an attorney to determine the cause for the failure. If a medical professional failed to live up to their duty of care or if a hip replacement manufacturer failed to design or manufacture a safe product, you may deserve to recover. If a doctor is recommending a hip replacement revision surgery less than 10 to 15 years after your hip replacement, contact a personal injury attorney today. Find an attorney with experience in hip replacement cases, who will work with their clients to determine whether they can secure a recovery for invasive surgeries like this. Read on to understand more about hip replacement surgery, why a revision surgery may be needed, and which parties could be responsible for the faulty surgery.
Hip Replacement StatisticsMany factors cause such significant hip joint pain that a hip replacement is recommended. Common causes of hip pain include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, osteonecrosis, and childhood hip disease. In a hip replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with prosthetic components, normally made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. Around seven million Americans live with a hip or knee replacement, and there are over one million hip and total knee replacement procedures performed each year. These volumes are projected to increase over the next several years because of aging baby boomers, higher rates of diagnosis, and increased demand for a high quality of life. Joint replacements are among the most common surgical procedures right now. Research suggests that hip replacement surgery will grow by more than 170 percent by 2030. The average age for hip replacement surgery is also decreasing.
Hip Replacement Revision SurgeryHip replacement revision surgery is necessary when a hip replacement fails. During the surgery, the surgeon removes the parts of the original prosthesis that have failed, or the entire prosthesis, and replaces them with new parts. Revision surgery is more complicated and requires extensive planning and specialized implants and tools. Signs that indicate a revision surgery may be required are:
- Implant wear and loosening: If bone fails to grow onto the hip replacement components, or the components were not thoroughly cemented into the bone, the components can loosen and cause pain.
- Infection: If bacteria attach to the surface of the prosthesis, an infection can occur. Infection can cause component loosening, pain, instability, and drainage. Revision surgery is usually required.
- Recurrent dislocation: If the ball becomes dislodged from the socket, it is considered a hip dislocation. If this happens frequently, revision surgery may be required to align the hip joint or insert a special implant.
- Fracture: If you break a bone around the components of an implant, a revision is often required. While rare, an implant can also break, requiring revision surgery.
- Metal sensitivity: Over time tiny metal particles will break down off the device, especially in implants where the ball and socket are both made from metal. If the metal ions damage the bone and soft tissue around the hip, revision surgery is required.
Who Is Responsible for the Revision Surgery?In some cases, hip revision surgery is required without the fault of any party. If the implant fails early after being implanted, however, it is likely something went wrong.
Medical MalpracticeIf any of your medical providers were negligent in the installation or care of the implant, they may be held responsible for your injuries. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional acts outside the accepted standard of care in their field. Consider the following actions:
- Follow-up care was non-existent or performed poorly;
- The diagnosis was incorrect;
- You were discharged earlier than medically advisable;
- Lab results were misread, misinterpreted, or misapplied;
- A condition went undiagnosed; or
- The wrong medication or dosage was administered or prescribed
Manufacturer LiabilityManufacturers are responsible for creating a product that works safely and is advertised truthfully. Manufacturers must warn end-users must about potential harms and provide accurate instructions and information about the product. If a manufacturer fails in these responsibilities, it may owe the victim compensation for injuries suffered because of its failure. Manufacturer errors generally fall in these three buckets:
- Failure to warn. If a product does not include the proper instructions or warnings, it is dangerous to its intended consumers.
- Design defects. Even if the product is manufactured according to specifications, it can still be inherently dangerous. The product must perform safely and as reasonably expected and advertised.
- Manufacturing defect. Even if the product was designed to operate safely, if it is not manufactured appropriately it can cause injury and damage.
- Labeling issues
- Manufacturing issues
- Packaging issues
- Design flaws
- Early implant failure
- Migration issues
- Instruction problems
- Missing components
- Fractured implants
Current Hip Replacement Recalls and LawsuitsThere are several recent recalls and lawsuits for hip joint devices. Many are related to metal-on-metal (MoM) design which makes the components more likely to grate against one another and produce toxic ions. Notable recalls and lawsuits include:
- DePuy: DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, manufactured three hip devices that have experienced multiple recalls. The devices are MoM construction. Analysis from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales found that a DePuy device was replaced or removed 29 percent of the time after only six years.
- Stryker: This is the largest global orthopedics company that manufactured MoM devices. Injured patients filed numerous lawsuits because of two Stryker hip replacement devices. The metal modular necks and stems of the Stryker devices were prone to corrosion and fretting that released metal ions into the body.
- Biomet: Biomet manufactured an MoM hip replacement device, and the metal parts wore against each other to release metal ions into the body. Regardless of significant complaints, Biomet did not recall the device and faced numerous lawsuits.
- Zimmer: Zimmer faced lawsuits relating to its Durom Cup hip replacement component as well as a hip prosthesis component. In the case of the Durom Cup, many patients found that the device failed to fuse to the hip socket, causing serious complications.
- Wright: Wright Medical Technology Inc. is the manufacturer of hip replacement devices similar to those manufactured by DePuy. The Wright devices have received numerous complaints of early failure, and Wright has faced many lawsuits and settlements.
Understanding DamagesIf you establish that another party is responsible for your hip replacement revision surgery, you may be entitled to recover for the damages associated with the surgery and resulting pain and complications. Work with your lawyer to consider the following damages:
- Medical expenses: All of your medical costs are the responsibility of the defendant, including doctors' bills, surgery costs, prescription medicine, emergency transportation, and assistive devices. Hip revision replacement surgery often entails a slow recovery, so be sure to include an estimate of future medical costs such as physical therapy.
- Lost income: Hip replacement surgery limits many victim's abilities to work full time or perform required work duties. If you have to miss work, work a reduced schedule, or perform lighter work responsibilities, the defendant may be responsible for these lost wages. If you will continue to miss work in the future, include an estimate of future losses in your damages demand. An economic expert can help evaluate the future impact of the injuries for inclusion in your damages demand.
- Pain and suffering: Failure of a hip replacement often results in constant aches, pains, and discomfort for the victim. The pain also limits the ability to perform normal daily functions. This constant pain takes a toll, and you may receive compensation from the defendant.
- Emotional distress: The long-term pain and suffering associated with a hip replacement and revision often bring about emotional distress. Common emotional responses to the ongoing pain and fear associated with hip pain are anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Work with your lawyer to include the effects of your emotional distress in your damages demand.
- Loss of enjoyment: Physical injuries affect the victim's life in many ways, including the ability to participate in activities that brought joy and meaning to their lives. If your continued hip pain and immobility have affected your ability to participate in meaningful activities, discuss the possibility of a loss of enjoyment damages with your attorney.
- Punitive/exemplary damages: Rather than compensating the plaintiff for their injuries, punitive damages punish the defendant for egregious behavior. The behavior requirements necessary to qualify for punitive damages vary from state-to-state. Some states also cap the punitive damages the jury can award. If a manufacturer continued to manufacture a faulty device with knowledge of the harm, you might qualify for punitive damages.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer TodayDealing with the continued pain of a faulty hip replacement is undoubtedly stressful, especially as you consider the associated medical and personal costs. If the medical professionals performing your surgery or the hip replacement device manufacturer are responsible for your pain, you should not have to bear these costs alone. To help ensure that you receive the recovery you deserve for your injuries, contact an experienced hip replacement attorney to help you analyze your options. Suffering an injury can alter your life entirely. Speaking with a dedicated personal injury attorney can provide you with the support and legal expertise you need. If you or someone you love has suffered from a faulty hip replacement, contact an attorney today for a consultation to discuss your legal options. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/hip-replacement-lawyers/