Hip Replacement: The Different Pieces
In general, hip replacements contain three distinct pieces. These include the cup, stem, and ball.
- The cup: Also known as the acetabular component, this part is implanted into the pelvis.
- The ball: Referred to as the femoral head component, it replaces the femur head.
- The stem: This part is inserted into the femur.
Together, all of these pieces allow for motion. However, it is critical for a surgeon to ensure that each part is stable. Otherwise, it can result in a lot of complications.
Three Different Types of Hip Replacement Surgeries
If you are considering a hip replacement, there are generally three different types offered, including:
- Hip resurfacing: This hip procedure tries to delay a total hip replacement (THR). In a hip resurfacing, a surgeon will replace a damaged socket with a cup and resurface the femur head instead of replacing it with a ball. The surgeon will then place a metal cover on top of the femur. The femur will also have a short stem inserted into its neck, which will help with stability.
- Partial hip replacement: This procedure is also called a hemiarthroplasty. Surgeons only perform it when one part, usually the femur head, needs replacing.
- Total hip replacement: Surgeons perform this procedure when an artificial joint needs to replace the damaged hip structure. In this procedure, the doctor will insert the hip stem into the femur, providing the patient with greater stability. The doctor will then replace the femur head with a ball and the socket with a cup.
Different Surgical Approaches for a Total Hip Replacement
There are a few different approaches that surgeons take when they perform total hip replacement surgery. These approaches include the posterior approach (from the back), anterolateral or lateral approach (side of the hip), and the anterior approach (from the front).
What Type of Patients Should Not Have an Anterior Hip Replacement?
Before a surgeon decides on a surgical approach, he or she will need to determine which procedure the patient is best suited for.
For example, the following patients should not get anterior hip replacements:
- Individuals who have implants or metal hardware in their hips from previous surgeries
- Individuals with wide pelvises
- Individuals who are obese or very muscular
The anterior hip replacement approach is relatively new, but it has grown in popularity in recent years. It is less invasive and results in a shorter recovery time. However, this procedure requires an experienced surgeon to perform.
Both approaches limit your range of motion differently, something athletes in particular should discuss with their surgeons.
Types of Hip Implant Material
When you go through a hip replacement surgery, you know that your body will include new types of hardware. However, as these replacements are supposed to work with your body, there are many different varieties of material. This material may consist of ceramic, metal, plastics, or even a combination of the three. Even though metal-on-metal devices seem the most durable, they are rarely used. This is because they shed particles that may cause complications.
The different type of implant materials include:
- Ceramic-on-ceramic: Due to their density, these implants are reliable and durable. Even though they have been available since the 1980s, the FDA only recently approved them. As the ceramic material is more durable than plastic, there is a lower risk of it breaking. However, one of the downsides to this ceramic-on-ceramic material is that it can result in an intrusive squeaking noise and dangerous shattering.
- Ceramic-on-polyethylene: This material is often far denser than the plastic used in metal-on-polyethylene devices. This option usually has a smoother surface, which is ideal for creating less friction, and its density makes it more reliable.
- Metal-on-polyethylene: Polyethylene is metal-free and high-quality plastic. This plastic has a smooth surface, so it results in little friction within the socket. Unfortunately, this procedure can cause plastic debris to get loose and float within the body, resulting in the implant failing or loosening from the bone (osteolysis). Despite this risk, polyethylene is the most common type of material used in hip implants.
- Metal-on-metal: As mentioned previously, this combination is not used frequently. However, when used, both the ball and socket are made out of metal. The metal can include titanium, cobalt mixed metals, and cobalt-chromium alloys.
Speak with your surgeon about the overall process and the materials that he or she plans to use. Before your surgery, you should ask your doctors why they prefer the material combination that they've chosen and any other questions that you may have.
Is Hip Replacement Surgery Right for You?
The decision to have hip replacement surgery should not be taken lightly. It requires a lengthy discussion with your primary care doctor, your orthopedic surgeon, and your friends and family. Even though the decision is ultimately yours, the many moving parts in this type of surgery require that everyone is on the same page.
Scenarios That May Result in a Hip Replacement Recommendation
Hip replacement surgery is not a procedure that doctors propose lightly. However, there are several reasons why your doctor or surgeon may recommend that you undergo a hip replacement.
When making such a decision, doctors often consider the following factors and analysis:
- Are you an individual with hip pain that limits your ability to walk, bend, and do everyday activities?
- Are you an individual with hip pain that continues to persist even when resting, no matter if it is night or day?
- Are you an individual that still has hip pain even after trying numerous pain relief strategies, including anti-inflammatory drugs, walking supports, and physical therapy?
- Are you an individual with stiffness in the hip that limits your ability to lift your leg or move?
Is There a Perfect Candidate for Hip Surgery?
If you need a total hip replacement, there are no weight or age restrictions. However, a surgeon will evaluate each patient individually and consider the severity of the disability and the pain that the patient has to endure. Generally, most hip replacement patients are between 50 and 80 years old, yet younger individuals may require this surgery, depending on their specific circumstances.
What Does the Surgeon's Evaluation Entail?
When you meet with your orthopedic surgeon, that evaluation will consist of several components, including the following:
- Your medical history: The surgeon will go over all aspects of your general health. He or she will also ask questions about the extent of the hip pain and how it affects your ability to walk, sit, sleep, and perform everyday activities.
- Physical examination: The surgeon will take a look and assess your hip strength, alignment, and mobility.
- X-rays: The surgeon will take x-rays of the affected area. These images can help them determine if the hip has any deformities and the extent of the damage.
- Other possible examinations: The surgeon may run other diagnostic tests that may include MRI scans, which can help determine the bone and soft tissue condition in the hip.
Hip Replacement Lawyers - Common Injuries/ Diseases
All surgeries come with a risk of complications. When it comes to a hip replacement, however, the complications may prove deadly. Many patients are not keen on the idea of implanting a foreign device into their bodies.
Many fear that something may go wrong with this new joint, including it not staying in place or causing an infection, which is why these patients need to understand what complications they have to watch out for and how they can reduce their risk of developing a dangerous condition.
Common Risks of Hip Replacement Surgeries
Hip replacement surgery can result in a wide variety of damages.
However, the most associated with hip replacement procedures include:
- Blood clots. Blood clots often form in the veins of patients' legs following surgery. If a blood clot breaks off and travels to an individual's heart, lungs, or brain, it can prove hazardous and even deadly. To reduce this risk, doctors may need to prescribe blood-thinning medications.
- Dislocation. Dislocations occur in about 1 to 5 percent of hip replacement cases. This is because certain positions can result in your new joint's ball getting loose and coming out of your socket, especially in the first few months following the surgery. In situations where your hip dislocates, your surgeon may require you to wear a brace to ensure that your hip stays in the correct position. However, if the hip keeps dislocating, you may need additional surgeries to stabilize the hip joint.
- Inflammation. Inflammation is found in 1 percent of hip replacement cases. Even though you can expect moderate to severe swelling for the first few weeks following surgery, the swelling may last up to six months. It is essential during this time that you take steps to reduce the swelling, including elevating your leg and wearing compression stockings.
- Infections. Infections tend to occur at your incision site or in the deeper tissue near the new hip. In most cases, infections are treated with antibiotics. However, if the infection is significant and near your prosthesis, it may require further surgery to remove and replace this new joint.
- Implant debris. If the bone in your hip begins to break down and affect your hip replacement, you may develop osteolysis. This condition occurs when inflammation destroys the bone, and as a result, the implant loosens. Additionally, the resulting debris can result in metallosis, a buildup of metallic pieces within the body.
- Heterotopic ossification. This condition occurs when there is an abnormal growth of bone in the non-skeletal tissues. This can include areas like tendons, soft tissue, and muscles. Heterotopic ossification happens in as many as 50 percent of cases and results in 10 percent of complications. When this condition develops, the new bone grows at three times the standard rate and results in painful, jagged joints.
- Leg length differences. Even though your doctor will take steps to prevent this problem, sometimes a new hip can result in one of your legs being longer or shorter than the other. You most likely will not notice any small differences in the length of your legs after a few months.
- Femur fracture. A femur fracture can occur when a surgeon forces bone back into the socket during the hip replacement surgery. This femur fracture is a break anywhere along the length of the femur bone.
- Early implant failure. Most hip replacements last, on average, 25 years. However, in some instances, a hip implant may fail much sooner. Occasionally, it can happen immediately after surgery. Many times, the implant fails early because the plastics shatter or the doctor used metals that were susceptible to breakage.
- Avascular necrosis. Avascular necrosis, also referred to as osteonecrosis, is the death of bone tissue that results from a lack of blood supply. Avascular necrosis can result in tiny breaks in the hip bone, leading to the overall bone's collapse.
- Increased pain. Typically, you will experience pain after a hip replacement surgery. However, if the pain increases and radiates to the thigh, groin, and hip, and you experience limited mobility, it may signal that the hip replacement is failing.
- Loosening. Loosening is rare in newer implants; however, if your new joint loosens over time or does not become fixed to your bone, it can result in additional hip pain. You may require surgery to resolve this issue.
- Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions may result from hip replacements. Symptoms tend to include itching, discoloration around the artificial joint area, and a skin rash. Other symptoms may include swelling, joint stiffness, and pain.
- Periprosthetic fractures. Periprosthetic fractures are tiny fractures that occur around the implant. These fractures often occur after a patient has spent years with a well-functioning hip replacement.
- Nerve injury. Though nerve injuries are not expected, the patient may experience numbness, weakness, or both when such injuries do occur.
What Happens During Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery may take several hours to complete.
During this procedure, the surgeon will:
- Create an incision over the side or front of your hip.
- Once through the thick layers of tissue, the surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage.
- The surgeon will then implant the prosthetic socket, replacing the damaged socket.
- Finally, the surgeon will replace the round ball on top of the femur with a prosthetic ball.
Hip replacement surgeries are continually evolving. As a result, some surgeons will use less invasive techniques that will not only reduce your pain but your recovery time as well.
What Happens During a Second Hip Replacement?
Prosthetic hip joints will typically last around 25 years. However, depending on when you had your surgery, you may require a second hip replacement.
These revision surgeries are often more complex and end up taking much longer because of the many steps involved, which include:
- Step one - removing old implant: The doctor will need to remove the existing hardware without doing any further damage to the muscle, cartilage, or bone.
- Step two - prepare the area: If the bone is damaged, then the surgeon will need to build up the deteriorated bone before implanting the new part.
- Step three - inserting new components: There are many ways that a surgeon may implant these new joints, including uncemented and cemented techniques, to ensure stability.
Oftentimes, individuals who need a second hip replacement are older. As a result, the procedure is more complicated and difficult than the initial hip replacement procedure.
Why Do Hip Replacements Loosen?
One of the major fears that many patients have following hip replacement surgeries is that the new joint will loosen. During a hip replacement procedure, the new joint is either cemented or pressed into position. The surgeon will also ensure that the new joint fits tightly into the femur bone and pelvis. While this new joint will typically not move at first, over time, there may be a gradual process that leads to problems with the function of the prosthesis.
Numerous factors can contribute to a hip replacement joint part loosening, including a patient's weight, activity level, gender, and age.
However, some studies suggest that the following elements may reduce the chances of a replacement part loosening:
- Hip replacements in women. This is often related to anatomical differences.
- People who have a body mass index under 25. In fact, each body max index unit over 25 is associated with a 3 percent increase in loosening risk.
- People over the age of 60. Advanced age often lessens the risk of loosening because there is a decrease in activity levels as one ages.
Typically, the most common cause of joint replacement loosening is due to the wearing of the implant surface and the subsequent weakening of the bone. This issue is often referred to as osteolysis.
What Is Osteolysis?
Osteolysis is a progressive condition that occurs when the bone that surrounds the implant deteriorates. Because the bone is weakened, the hip replacement begins to wobble and starts to become loose. As a result, patients start to experience significant limitations in motion and an increase in pain.
Physical Therapy After a Hip Replacement Surgery
Following hip replacement surgeries, patients are generally required to stay at the hospital for several days. If you just had hip replacement surgery, your doctor may ask you to move the new joint shortly after surgery. Typically, a physical therapist will meet with you after your surgery and plan a rehabilitation program for you that you will need to follow in the hospital and at home. This program will continue until you regain a good range of motion and improve your muscle strength.
Prevention of Blood Clots
Following a hip replacement surgery, you are at an increased risk of developing a blood clot. However, there are specific measures that you can take to help prevent this serious and deadly complication.
These measures include:
- Move early: Your doctor will want you to start sitting up and walking with a walker or crutches soon after your surgery. Generally, this will occur the same day of your surgery or the following day.
- Pressure: During and after surgery, your doctor will require you to apply pressure, meaning you may have to wear an inflatable air sleeve (similar to a blood pressure cuff on the lower legs) or an elastic compression stocking. The pressure exerted through the inflated sleeve and compression stockings helps the blood from pooling in your leg veins, which reduces the chance of blood clots forming.
- Medication: In some cases, your surgeon may prescribe blood-thinning medications. These medications can include an oral blood thinner or an injected blood thinner after surgery. Whether your doctor prescribes these blood thinners will depend on your overall risks, how quickly you can walk following surgery, and your activity level.
How Do You Know If You Have Developed Any Complications Following Surgery?
Following hip replacement surgery, you may not know what symptoms are normal and which ones are more critical and require your surgeon's insight.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should call your doctor as soon as possible:
- Pain in the hip that is getting worse
- Swelling or pain in the calf or the leg that is not related to your incision
- Redness or tenderness in your calf
- A fever over 100.4°F
- Redness or swelling at the site of the incision that looks like it is getting worse
- Fluid draining from the incision site
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that there is anything seriously wrong. However, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should consult your doctor.
Prevent Injuries Following a Hip Replacement Procedure
It is important to remember that you will be limited in your activities following a hip replacement surgery. Full recovery may even take several months. Additionally, you will need to take extra care to prevent falls following your hip replacement surgery. A fall may cause damage to your new joint.
Certain changes in your home and lifestyle can help you during the recovery process:
- Using a walker or a cane until your balance and strength improve.
- Using handrails while walking along the stairs.
- Using safety handrails in the bath or the shower.
- Using a raised toilet seat.
- Using a shower chair or bench.
- Using a stable chair with two arms that has a firm seat cushion and back.
- Using a dressing stick.
- Using a sock aid.
- Using a long-handled shower hose and sponge.
- Using a firm pillow to raise your hips above your knees while sitting.
- Using a reaching stick to grab objects.
Additionally, make sure you remove any electrical cords or loose carpets, as these may cause you to trip and fall, resulting in damage to your new replacement joint. Also, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions after the surgery. These guidelines can help keep you safe and prevent injuries.
Hip Replacement FAQs
Hip replacements are a medical cure for many. However, when things go wrong, a patient's life is at stake. Some many complications can result from hip replacement surgery or a faulty hip replacement implant. You should know what to do in case this happens to you. The following frequently asked questions not only provide you with the answers you need, but they will also help you understand what actions to take if you feel there is something wrong with your hip replacement.
How can a defective hip replacement hurt you?
Unfortunately, during or after a hip replacement, metal pieces from the prosthetic can fall off and become loose inside the body. As a result, these pieces enter the bloodstream and threaten a body's immune system. If this happens to you, you may end up suffering immense pain, swelling, organ problems, and even heart issues. In some situations, these defective hip replacements can result in limited mobility, trouble walking, and an inability to perform daily tasks.
The most common adverse effects that an individual can suffer from a defective hip implant include:
- Terrible pain and severe discomfort
- Lack or loss of mobility
- Significant infections (which may require surgery, replacement of the implant, and hospitalization)
- Bone damage
- Swelling and severe inflammation
- Loosening of the defective hip implant
- Spontaneous dislocation
An experienced personal injury attorney can review all of your issues and medical records and figure out what went wrong and who is at fault for your injuries.
What are some common lawsuits surrounding hip implants?
There have been many claims for faulty hip implant designs, failure to warn patients of severe side effects, and defective hip implants. In fact, Johnson & Johnson's DePuy hip implants have been subject to thousands of metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits. These claims stemmed from DePuy's reports that its implants could last for longer timeframes.
Unfortunately, this was not the case, and the implants resulted in many revision surgeries and additional procedures.
DePuy is not the only company that has been under scrutiny for its hip implants. Other companies, such as Stryker, Wright Medical Technology, Smith & Nephew, Biomet, OMNI, and Zimmer Holdings, have also been subject to numerous lawsuits due to those companies' faulty hip implants.
Can I recover compensation in a hip replacement lawsuit?
If you have been harmed due to a hip replacement implant or procedure, you should consult an attorney about filing a hip replacement claim. In this type of claim, you seek compensation for your losses, including your medical expenses (past and future), medical device expenses, additional surgeries, hospital bills, at-home care services, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, other damages related to your relationships, lost wages, and even lost earning capacity.
An experienced attorney will review your case and begin gathering evidence to help you maximize your compensation.
Why are there so many issues with metal hip replacements?
Unfortunately, metal-on-metal hip replacements have shown a high rate of premature failure, which has resulted in significant complications, including the implant's loosening, severe discomfort, and pain in the groin, hip, and metallosis. These metal-on-metal replacements also require numerous revision surgeries because of abnormal reactions due to the implant's metal debris.
Why is metallosis dangerous?
There is a lot of friction produced from the metal components in a metal-on-metal hip replacement. When this metal debris loosens and enters the bloodstream, there is a release of cobalt and chromium ions, building up over time. This can result in metallosis or metal poisoning, which is why it's so important to monitor your implant condition if you have a metal hip implant.
Common symptoms that are associated with metallosis include:
- Loss of your hearing and vision
- Significant fatigue, depression, and anxiety
- Thyroid problems
- Persistent headaches
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Chronic short-term memory problems
If you have a hip implant, and you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure you speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
What should I do if my hip implant fails?
If you feel that your hip implant is failing, you have a right to discuss your legal concerns with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. These lawyers can review your case, discuss any deadlines, and inform you of your potential legal remedies.
If you have received anything from the hip implant manufacturers, including any forms for signature, make sure you speak with an attorney before you sign. You need to remember that the hip implant manufacturer is also a business, and it wants to do what is best for the company. As a result, protect your rights and interests by speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible.
How long do hip replacement lawsuits take?
Unfortunately, there is no specific period for a hip replacement lawsuit. Some cases may settle in a manner of months, while others may take years. Even though you may want to wrap up your claim as quickly as possible and get a fast settlement to help you with your medical bills and expenses, you still want to make sure that you receive adequate compensation to cover your current and future costs. Your attorney can go over all of these factors with you and help you decide whether settling or heading to trial is the right decision for you.
Should I accept a hip implant recall offer?
Certain manufacturers, such as DePuy, have indicated that they will compensate patients for recall-related medical expenses. These expenses can include medical bills directly related to a hip implant recall, as well as any out-of-pocket expense and travel expenses. However, when you agree to this recall compensation, the company will most likely only cover a small fraction of your total expenses. That is why, before accepting any deal, you should speak with a lawyer.
As a hip implant recall victim, you deserve to go after all of the compensation you deserve. This includes loss of income, pain, suffering, and any other expenses that you have suffered due to the defective implant product.
Should I join a class action lawsuit against a hip implant manufacturer?
Injured individuals have filed numerous class action lawsuits against hip implant manufacturers. One issue with these types of cases is that they are somewhat limited in the amount of compensation that injured individuals can receive, as plaintiffs are segmented by their specific types of injuries. Consequently, those who have only suffered moderate injuries will receive a fraction of what their total damages may add up to. Additionally, individual factors, such as lost wages and pain and suffering, are not accounted for in these class action lawsuits.
If my hip implant is on the recall list, what should I do?
You should contact your doctor and find out exactly what type of implant device you have. Make sure to get copies of all your medical records, which will help you confirm the type (make and model) of the hip implant device used in your surgery. You will need all of this information if you decide to pursue a claim, even if you have not started experiencing any symptoms yet.
Do I still have a case if I am not experiencing any symptoms or problems with my hip replacement?
Yes. Many patients who have received a defective hip part may not have any current symptoms, but the odds are that they will in the future if they don't take corrective action. If you suspect you have a defective hip implant, contact a doctor to get copies of your medical records, and speak to a lawyer who can help figure out if you're eligible to pursue legal recourse as quickly as possible.
How much time do I have to file a hip replacement claim?
The statute of limitations to file a claim due to medical malpractice or product liability varies from state to state. They are generally short deadlines, so speak to a lawyer promptly. An experienced attorney can help you figure out what type of claim you will need to file and how much time you have. It is also important to remember that memories fade over time, evidence disappears, and available witnesses can no longer testify. As a result, waiting too long may end up hurting your case.
The doctor said I Need revision surgery for my hip replacement. What should I do?
Before you agree to any revision surgery, you should call a skilled personal injury attorney. He or she can look into this revision surgery and figure out if it is due to a faulty hip replacement implant or medical malpractice. Often, patients are not aware that their implants are defective, which means the patients also may not be aware that the issues they are having may result from their faulty hip implants. When you work with an experienced lawyer, he or she can access your records, gather relevant evidence, and explain your legal options.
What legal rights do I have against the manufacturer of my defective hip implant?
Any product manufacturer is required to make sure that its products are safe for consumers. This duty also includes warning customers of any potential harm that may occur from using the products. As a result, numerous manufacturers of hip implants and other faulty hip replacement parts have been in trouble for failing to warn doctors and patients of the risks involved with their products and for not conducting the appropriate testing to ensure the products' safety.
Additionally, when a manufacturer creates a dangerous product, a court may determine that the manufacturer is strictly liable for any injuries caused by the product. This is true even if the faulty product is a defective medical device, so what does this mean for your claim? Even if you cannot prove that a manufacturer was negligent in warning the public or failing to properly test the product, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. This is because there are no requirements to prove negligence in a strict liability case.
A skilled personal injury attorney can go over all of these elements and figure out how you can pursue a claim against your defective hip implant manufacturer.
How can Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA help me with my hip replacement claim?
Currently, there are numerous pending cases against manufacturers that have produced defective hip implants. As a result, you need to understand all of your options, including what the best course of action is for your specific circumstances. Your options may include becoming part of a class-action lawsuit, settling outside of court, or heading to trial. Working with a caring and experienced Florida personal injury attorney can help you seek justice.
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have years of experience handling these types of cases and know how to maximize client compensation.
We do the following for our clients:
- Investigate: We know that these types of lawsuits require detailed evidence to prove fault and injury. That is why we can get to work right away, gathering reports and critical data that can show how you sustained your injury and who is legally liable for those injuries.
- Negotiate: The other side may want to throw you a low-ball settlement offer hoping to make you go away quickly. But after years of experience handling hip replacement claims, we can accurately estimate the true value of your case. If you retain us, we will handle the negotiation process for you and go after an agreement that is fair to you.
- Litigate: If your case doesn't settle, we can take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation. We want to make sure that your legal rights are not only protected through this whole process, but also that your case receives the fairness and respect that it requires.
If you've sustained an injury due to a hip replacement procedure or defective hip implant, you need an experienced personal injury attorney fighting on your behalf.
Hip Replacement Lawyers
As a patient going through a hip replacement procedure, you expect that everything with the surgery will go well. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many patients who have hip replacement surgery end up dealing with debilitating pain, failed implants, numerous operations, and skyrocketing medical expenses that affect not only the patients but their families as well.
If this has happened to you, you do not have to go through this process alone. The legal team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is here and ready to fight for you.
Types of Hip Replacement Lawsuits
If doctors implanted your hip replacement incorrectly or if it has broken down, you likely have a product liability case or medical malpractice lawsuit. For instance, if you had a hip replacement procedure, you may experience metal pieces from your prosthetic breaking off and migrating in your body. Based on these facts, you may have a defective product case, because the metal was faulty, did not stay in place, and failed to do its job. However, you also need to examine the medical professional in this situation. Did the surgeon have an idea that the implant was either inserted incorrectly or that it was faulty? If the surgeon did, then he or she may face liability for medical malpractice.
That is why it is essential to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. These lawyers can provide you with a dual examination and figure out if your situation is a product defect case, a medical malpractice suit, or both.
How to Bring a Medical Malpractice Claim
Again, this varies according to state. In Florida, for example, medical malpractice claims come with burdensome pre-filing requirements, such as:
- An attorney needs to obtain an affidavit from a doctor confirming that the plaintiff's injuries are related to medical malpractice.
- Next, the claimant needs to provide notice of his or her intent to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or facility that allegedly engaged in malpractice. This notification should include an affidavit that affirms the medical malpractice claim.
- At this point, the defendants have 90 days to respond to the claim after receiving this notice. During this time, defendants will have the ability to review medical records and collect evidence. Even though this process may ultimately lead to a settlement, doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities accused of medical malpractice often end up fighting these claims at trial.
Once 90 days have passed, the plaintiff can file his or her medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the plaintiff also needs to ensure compliance with the state's statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit is generally two years from the date of the incident, but some circumstances may justify an extension.
When you work with our skilled personal injury attorneys, we can timely file your claim and meet other critical legal deadlines.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Many hip replacement patients often question whether their post-surgery intense hip pain or implant problems are really their doctor's fault. Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that transpires when a licensed medical professional strays from an acceptable standard of care and injures the patient.
As a result, you may qualify to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if your doctor, anesthesiologist, surgeon, or other health professional committed one of the following actions:
- Did these medical professionals conduct any unnecessary surgeries?
- Did these medical professionals discharge you early?
- Did these medical professionals perform poor follow-up care?
- Did these medical professionals provide you with a wrong diagnosis?
- Did these medical professionals disregard any of your critical lab results?
- Did these medical professionals fail to diagnose a condition?
- Did these medical professionals give you the wrong dosage or medication?
Before you can claim medical malpractice, you need to first establish certain factors, including proving negligence on the part of the medical professional or health care provider. These providers can include many different parties, such as the surgeon who performed your operation, the pharmaceutical company that created a defective product, and even the medical facility where your operation took place.
What Constitutes Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
To receive damages for your injuries due to medical malpractice, you need to prove four elements to establish negligence.
- Duty: Once you establish a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care. This duty requires the doctor to provide reasonable care, which means he or she must follow the accepted medical practices and standards in the relevant medical field. For example, if you go to the surgeon, provide him or her with personal information, are admitted, and receive your hip implant, then this creates a doctor-patient relationship and, as a result, a duty of care.
- Breach: Once the duty is established, the doctor needs to exercise reasonable care and follow standard procedures. In this instance, the doctor would breach this duty by interesting a faulty hip implant or making an unreasonable error during the procedure.
- Injury: You also must prove that you have suffered an injury because of your doctor's unreasonable actions, which means that you need to show that the surgeon directly caused your specific injuries. You may also need to figure out whether it was the device that caused your harm or the surgeon's unreasonable actions.
- Damages: Finally, you need to show that you have suffered damages due to your injury. To prove these damages, you may provide evidence of your significant medical bills, which resulted from the implant's breakdown, and/or your costs related to lodging, traveling, and missing work as a result of your injuries. If relevant, you should also provide evidence of any additional surgeries that you've required to fix this implant, as well as the significant emotional distress that the whole ordeal has caused you.
For a court to determine that a medical professional acted negligently, you must prove that the professional's conduct fell below the accepted standard of medical care. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have a network of reputable experts that you may need to testify to strengthen your case and establish liability.
Types of Negligent Hip Replacement Surgeries
Negligent hip replacement surgeries can result in many medical issues and specific types of injuries.
The most common examples of hip replacement damages caused by instances of medical malpractice include:
- Dislocations: Dislocations of the hip joint after a hip replacement surgery happen when the hip implant ball dislocates from its socket. Even though this issue is not common, patients are at high risk during the first few months following the surgery, when the joint is still healing.
- Defective devices: Medical malpractice damages may also result from defective hip replacement devices. Some of these hip replacement devices are known to wear down prematurely, resulting in metallic particles being released into the body. As a result, you may suffer from increased pain, infection, and/or require further surgeries.
- Osteolysis: Osteolysis, or bone loss, in the hip often results from medical negligence during the replacement surgery. This loss of bone may cause your joint to loosen and end up reducing your overall mobility. Surgeons are required to evaluate their patients before surgery and determine whether they have enough bone density to ensure that undergoing the procedure is safe.
- Chronic pain: Excessive pain after a replacement procedure can result from several different medical issues and errors, and may signal medical malpractice. If you have chronic pain beyond the expected healing window, the procedure, the preoperative process, or both may be to blame.
- Leg length issues: After a hip replacement procedure, some patients may notice that one of their legs is longer than the other. This discrepancy is often due to the size of a replacement implant, as well as the way the implant is inserted. As a result, when there is a leg length issue, it may constitute medical negligence.
Discussing these issues with a skilled personal injury attorney can provide you with an honest evaluation and options for recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
Defective Product Hip Replacement Lawsuits
A defective product lawsuit is often due to an individual getting hurt while using a product.
These lawsuits will fall into one of these categories:
- Defective design: Even if a product is made correctly, it can still endanger the consumer. An unreasonably dangerous product is one that does not perform as safely or as reasonably expected when an end-user uses it in an intended manner.
- Failing to warn: These defects focus on the supply chain and are often called marketing defects. In these circumstances, the product was correctly designed, but it did not have proper warnings or instructions. This lack of warnings and/or instructions made the product unreasonably hazardous to the intended user.
- Manufacturing defects: Even if a product was designed with safety in mind, many don't live up to their designs. If the final product causes an injury to the intended user, the manufacturer may face responsibility for the defects. In these cases, if the victim can prove the product was defective, the specific manufacturer's intent does not matter. Generally, all that is required is that the victim proves that the product did not work as intended.
There are many hip implants that the FDA approves only to discover later that the implants actually endanger the consumer or have not been manufactured correctly. That is why if you have suffered any harm due to your hip replacement, call a personal injury lawyer right away, so he or she can start investigating your accident and building your legal case as quickly as possible.
Faulty Hip Implant Models
There are many faulty hip implant models that doctors and patients should avoid. Even though the FDA notifies surgeons, doctors, and other medical professionals of these models' risks, sometimes doctors will still use a faulty implant.
In general, avoid all of the following hip replacement implant models, which have been subject to lawsuits or device failures:
- DePuy Synthes, including ASR, AML, Pinnacle, Prodigy, S-ROM, and Marathon.
- Zimmer Biomet, including Mallory-Head, Taperloc, Mayo Hip, Durom Cop, VerSys, Longevity, and M2a.
- CenterpulseLtd. including Inter-Op, Perfecta, Dynasty, Orthadapt, Metal Transcend, and Profemur Z.
- Stryker Corporation including ABG II, Omnifit, Exeter, Rejuvenate, and Crossfire.
- Smith & Nephew Manufacturing Company including Duo, Modular SMF, Metal liner of R3, Synergy, and TriGen Hip Nail.
- Wright Medical Group including Trident Hemispherical SH and Conserve Plus
Manufacturing, labeling, and packaging issues resulted in the recalls of these models. However, other causes for hip replacement recalls include design problems, migration issues, fractured implants, problems with the instructions, early implant failure, and missing components.
Hip Replacement Case Review
Even if you are not confident about what type of implant your doctor used in your surgery, the attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help you
if have these issues:
- Chromium or cobalt blood testing
- Metal blood poisoning (metallosis)
- Received a recall notice or letter
- Require a hip revision surgery
- Hip implant failure, including a loosening, fracture, or disassociation
- Any other complications
Do You Have a Hip Replacement Case?
If you have been experiencing complications following a hip replacement surgery, or if you've received a recall hip implant notice, you need to consult an attorney you can trust. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we understand that patients going through these events are frustrated, stressed out, and worried about their health, futures, and supporting their families.
Our attorneys want to ease some of this burden for you by taking on the legal pressures of your hip replacement lawsuit. We can not only provide you the answers you need, but we can also fight to maximize your ultimate compensation.
Do not wait any longer. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA online today, or call us at 833-552-7274. We are ready to fight on your behalf.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA - Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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