If you experience pain and discomfort in your hips, your doctor may give you the news that you need a hip replacement. This can be a scary thing to hear. Although hip replacement surgeries are relatively common these days, that does not mean that learning you need one will set your mind at ease about the risks and difficulties. Still, for many people in your situation, the prospect of living pain-free proves too attractive to pass up.
Unfortunately for some hip replacement patients, not everything goes according to plan. These unlucky people find that after their hip replacement surgery, their pain increases and their discomfort worsens over the first few years after surgery, even though their doctors told them to expect their new hip to last about 20 years. That pain can be a sign that the patient has received a bad hip replacement.
DJO Surgical is a company that manufactures a common hip replacement, the DJO Encore. Unfortunately, this metal-on-metal hip replacement causes metallosis, a serious problem in patients who receive it that could lead to serious medical complications.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman represent victims of defective hip replacements, including those who had a defective DJO Encore implanted in their bodies. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights.
About Our Defective Hip Replacement Law Team
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman are affiliated personal injury law firms with offices on both Florida coasts. We represent clients nationwide in legal actions seeking to secure compensation for injuries and losses our clients suffered because of someone else’s unreasonably dangerous decisions and actions.
Over our years of law practice, our award-winning team has delivered results time and again for our clients, obtaining tens of millions of dollars on their behalf through settlements and jury verdicts. Our past successes do not guarantee future ones, of course. They do, however, demonstrate that ours is a team that knows how to win even the most difficult and complicated cases against the most powerful defendants, lawyers, and insurance companies.
How Hip Replacements Work
Hip replacement surgery attempts to remove broken or damaged hip bones and joints, replacing them with synthetic parts. The first sign of someone needing a hip replacement usually consists of constant pain when standing, sitting, or making slight motions. Doctors have many reasons for recommending hip replacement surgery to a patient. Arthritis constitutes the most common reason people need a hip replacement, because it causes chronic pain, discomfort, inability to move freely, and reduced quality of life that hip replacement surgery may help to fix.
The DJO Encore is made from metal components. When metal components rub against each other, tiny pieces of the metal break free. Those pieces can infect your body. This is called metallosis and it can be extremely serious, even deadly.
Symptoms of metallosis include:
- Changes in skin color
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
These are not minor medical issues. If you experience any of these symptoms after receiving a DJO Encore hip replacement, contact your doctor immediately. You may need to undergo a second surgery to remove and replace the DJO Encore, called a revision surgery.
Unfortunately, this second surgery can also involve complications, such as:
- Damage to renal functions
- Hip dislocation
- Additional pain
- Limited mobility
Any of these problems may require still more, invasive medical attention. Besides that, corrective surgical procedures can inflict heavy costs. Not only are surgeries expensive, but so is rehabilitation.
As a victim of a defective medical device made by DJO, you should not have to bear those costs. Instead, DJO and/or some other merchant or provider involved in the implantation of the device in your body should face legal and financial accountability to you. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we help patients like you seek that accountability.
The Loophole That Makes Defective DJO Encore Hip Replacement Devices Possible
As with all surgical equipment, government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve hip replacement devices. However, FDA regulations also contain a loophole, known as 510(k) approval, that allows medical device manufacturers to avoid conducting rigorous safety studies if their device is similar to another device already approved and sold in the marketplace.
While this rule aims to make it easier for devices to reach the market and help patients, it also leaves room for manufacturers to produce sub-standard equipment that can cause extreme harm to patients.
Just because a device is similar to ones that came before it, that does not mean it is safe.
In fact, many people experience health complications after receiving a 510(k)-approved hip replacement, including:
- Loosening or dislocation of the hip
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility
- Revision surgery
Because of the failure of DJO to provide you with a defect-free hip replacement, you have suffered additional harm. We know how frustrating this can be, given that you underwent hip replacement surgery to eliminate all of these issues. Now, here you are, suffering even more.
If this has happened to you or a loved one, contact a seasoned hip replacement attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights to compensation.
Steps to Take Before and After Your DJO Encore Hip Replacement Surgery
When your doctor first tells you that you could benefit from a hip replacement surgery, you feel excited that you might eliminate the pain you have faced for so long. But you want to prepare in case anything goes wrong.
By following these steps, you can help to preserve the information you may need if your hip replacement surgery does not turn out as you had hoped.
- Keep your medical records. Your doctor will keep your medical records on file but you should keep a copy, too. You want to know why you had hip replacement surgery and your surgeon chose a DJO Encore. You also want your medical records from before your surgery. An experienced hip replacement injury lawyer will likely want to review your medical records to get a sense of what your life was like both before and after your hip replacement surgery.
- Take pictures and videos. Have your family or friends take pictures and videos of you before your hip replacement surgery. Show your movement and your pain as you stand up and walk. After your surgery, continue with these images and videos. Your recovery process may take some time but, eventually, you should have more freedom of movement and less pain. The videos you take can show whether that is the case.
- Talk to your doctor. Do not be shy about discussing your medical situation with your doctor. After your hip replacement surgery, if something is wrong, speak up. Your doctor cannot help you if you do not let them know that something seems off. Alert your doctor to an issue so that your medical team can evaluate the cause of the trouble you have encountered. They may determine you need revision surgery.
- Keep a recovery journal. Over time, you may not recall the daily pain and suffering you have faced. You may forget the effort it took for you to get better. By keeping a journal and writing in it every day, you can create a record of your recovery in your own words. This may help to show the additional pain and suffering you endured because of receiving a defective DJO Encore.
- Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman. If you find out that your hip replacement has failed, then contact an experienced hip replacement lawyer from our team. We have proven experience helping clients just like you recover damages for their injuries and their suffering. Taking legal action may help you get your life back on track by providing much-needed financial support.
Collecting Damages When Things With Your DJO Encore Hip Replacement Go Wrong
To hold DJO or others accountable for the harm you suffered from a DJO Encore, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit, and if so, an experienced medical device defect attorney is your best bet for building the strongest possible case.
Every lawsuit involving a defective DJO Encore is different, because every patient is different. For that reason, the types and amounts of money a victim might hope to recover through legal action vary widely.
In general, however, a lawsuit for damages may seek to recover compensation to pay for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Some hip replacement victims assume their case is worth only the out-of-pocket costs of their medical bills. In fact, a lawsuit can seek compensation for a wide range of injuries and losses, including future medical costs and financial losses, and the overall difficulty a defective DJO Encore has inflicted on a patient’s life.
Although no amount of money can undo the damage and the loss you have endured as a victim of a defective DJO Encore hip replacement, collecting damages may help to ease your burden and provide much-needed financial support while you regain your strength and rebuild your life.
Beware of Quick Settlements
Patients who face the physical and emotional turmoil of a defective hip replacement may want to put financial difficulty behind them as quickly as possible. That is understandable. Still, patients should always exercise caution if an insurance company contacts them out-of-the-blue offering a quick settlement of their claim
Insurance companies that issue policies to those potentially legally-liable to you for your injuries do not have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to make your claim go away for as little money as possible. Your goal, in contrast, is to make sure you do not pay a dime out of your own pocket for the medical expenses and other challenges you face because of your defective hip replacement.
Agreeing to an unsolicited settlement from an insurance company could cost you valuable legal and financial rights. In the first place, the settlement offer will inevitably fall far short of the money you need and deserve to pay for your expenses and difficulties. Also, accepting a settlement comes with strings attached—namely, an obligation to give up your right to sue for additional damages.
Tempting as it can seem to take what seems like easy money, in the long run, you lack the money you need. Instead of mistakenly trusting in the goodwill of an insurance company, let an experienced lawyer negotiate a settlement on your behalf after having evaluated your claim and identified all parties that may have a legal liability to you.
Talk to an Experienced Defective DJO Encore Hip Replacement Lawyer Today
No one expects their hip replacement surgery to end in more pain, difficulty, and expense. Patients trust their doctors to choose the right implants, and trust manufacturers to produce hip replacement hardware that is safe and durable.
DJO and other hip replacement manufacturers that have produced defective hip replacement devices, and others who promote or choose their products, should face legal and financial accountability for the harm they cause innocent patients. If you suffered health complications from metallosis because a surgeon implanted a defective DJO Encore hip replacement device in your body, then you may have the right to substantial financial compensation.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman represent clients nationwide in seeking justice, accountability, and compensation for the harm done by defective hip replacement devices. Contact us online or at 833-552-7274 for a free consultation to learn about your legal options.
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