Hip Replacement Recalls: An Overview
Finding out that the company that manufactured your hip replacement issued a recall can cause a sinking feeling in your gut and a great deal of distress. You may have noticed increasing pain or other worrisome symptoms, but written them off. After all, you have artificial materials inside your body, and you have aged.
Then the recall notice comes out, and suddenly, you have a reason for your symptoms. Unfortunately, that does not change the reality of the symptoms you must face or the challenges you have to deal with.
Why Recall Hip Replacements?
Hip replacements, like other medical devices, get recalled for one of two reasons: either because they fail to provide the high-quality standard expected of a medical device implanted in your body, or because they pose a danger to the body in some way. In the case of hip replacement recalls, some replacements, despite extensive testing before market approval, fail within a very short time: some as short as one, two, or three years.
Others pose a direct danger to the body, including metal hip replacements, which may cause the metal to leech into the body and cause metallosis.
Major Hip Replacement Recalls
Most often, hip replacement manufacturers choose to recall their devices on their own, without the need for the FDA to step in. Sometimes, however, the FDA needs to force the recall.
Popular hip replacement recalls include:
- DePuy ASR Acetabular & Resurfacing System
- Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Recall
- Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular, Modular SMF, Modular Redapt Femoral Hip Systems
- Wright Conserve Plus and Profemur Z Hip Stem
- Zimmer Durom Acetabular Component
Recalls can go out at any time, so if your hip replacement did not make the list above, but you know yours faced a recall, contact an attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
How to Know if Your Device Got Recalled
When manufacturers recall a hip replacement device, they usually send the word out directly to orthopedic surgeons, especially those they know have used those devices in hip replacements. Your orthopedic surgeon can then get in touch with you. Unfortunately, the United States has no formal reporting system for notifying patients when a device gets recalled, especially in the case of joint replacements. You may first hear about the fact that your hip replacement got replaced when you hear about your hip replacement on a commercial for a lawyer’s office.
Look for signs of that your hip replacement has not worked as well as anticipated or that it has started to degrade. Pay particular attention to any signs or symptoms that indicate you may have a problem with your hip replacement. Contact your doctor if you have any worries about your hip replacement or fear that you have a problem.
You can also keep an eye on the FDA website and regularly track recalls to get immediate notice if your hip replacement has a known problem. If you have worries following a hip replacement, search for information about others who have received the same device who may have suffered similar problems.
Filing a Hip Replacement Recall Claim: Your Path to Compensation
Following a hip replacement recall, you have the right to file a claim that will help you receive compensation for your losses. Many victims find that they experience substantial pain and suffering related to the recall, and they deserve compensation for that suffering. You expect your hip replacement to restore your quality of life, not cause more problems that you have to deal with.
A hip replacement recall claim can help you acquire the compensation you deserve.
Liability for Hip Replacement Recalls
Liability for hip replacement recalls rests with the manufacturer. In most cases, the manufacturer will bear sole liability for any losses you faced as a result of your hip replacement recall.
Medical device manufacturers must carefully construct, test, and evaluate their devices regularly. They bear a high duty of care to the patients who use those devices. Usually, devices go through extensive testing before they get placed on the market.
Unfortunately, some safety hazards may not prove evidence until the device gets implanted in actual people. Those people may take some time, in some cases even years, before they start to notice negative symptoms associated with the device: in this case, the replacement hip joint. As a result, the faulty hip replacement may end up issued to many individuals before it gets pulled from the market.
In some cases, another party may bear liability for a faulty hip replacement or the problems you face due to your hip replacement. A surgeon who implants the device incorrectly, for example, may bear liability for the problems you face as a result of those hazards. Likewise, if the surgeon exposes you to infection during the surgical process or leaves a tool in your body by mistake, you may face additional complications in the healing process and require additional treatment, but liability for that event lies with the surgeon, not with the hip replacement manufacturer.
Consult an attorney if you suspect your surgeon of medical malpractice during your hip replacement surgery or replacement.
The Compensation You Deserve: How Much to Expect
Most people, when filing a personal injury claim after a hip replacement recall, want some idea of how much compensation they can expect for their losses. You may have high medical bills and serious pain and suffering related to the recall, and you deserve compensation for those losses.
Many factors, however, can contribute to the compensation you deserve, including:
- How long you had the hip replacement before suffering symptoms associated with the recall
- What symptoms you suffered
- How high your medical bills rose following your hip replacement recall
- Whether you suffered long-term disability as a result of the recall
Talk to an attorney to learn more about your right to compensation and how much compensation you should expect following a hip replacement recall. An attorney can evaluate the settlements and awards issued by the company that manufactured your hip replacement in the past, the extent of your suffering and injuries, and the length of time since your hip replacement to give you a better idea of the compensation you, specifically, deserve for the pain and suffering you faced.
Hip Replacement Problems: The Initial Signs
Shortly after hip replacement surgery, you may notice a reduction in your pain and an increase in mobility. Most people go through extensive therapy following hip replacement surgery, aiding them as they restore mobility and strength. Recovery may continue over the following six months to a year as patients continue to increase strength, especially if they lost a great deal of strength and flexibility due to ongoing pain or struggle during the recovery process.
For some patients, however, symptoms do not improve as much as expected. Worse, within a year or two, some patients with recalled hip replacements may start to notice problems. Others may start to experience symptoms several years after the hip replacement procedure. The initial signs that your hip replacement has problems may include:
Increasing pain or no resolution to pain in the affected joint.
Your hip replacement functions as a prosthesis: one implanted inside your body. You may have months or even years of relief from pain. Naturally, over time, however, you may notice that your pain starts to return. The prosthetic, like your natural hip joint, often wears down, and the fit changes so that it does not function as well as it did in the initial days following the accident. 15-20 years following a normal, fully functional hip replacement, you may need to have a hip replacement revision or second hip replacement to repair the damage.
If you have a recalled hip joint, on the other hand, you may find that your pain starts up again much faster. You may have trouble sitting down, standing up, or falling asleep at night due to the pain. In extreme cases, your pain may never fully resolve following hip replacement surgery.
Increasing stiffness or mobility difficulties.
A hip replacement will not automatically restore the mobility you may have lost over weeks or months of pain, but it should allow you to gradually increase your mobility. If you notice your stiffness increasing rapidly, preventing the full range of motion in your hips, you may have problems with your hip replacement. Pay particular attention to stiffness that prevents you from completing normal movements, including getting up out of a chair, getting dressed, or walking normally.
Many hip replacement patients may struggle naturally with stiffness and mobility difficulties as they age. Since hip replacements usually occur in individuals over the age of 55, many patients may naturally stiffen as they continue to age. You should, however, report any mobility difficulties to your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of metallosis.
Many hip replacements include metals like chromium, cobalt, nickel, titanium, and molybdenum. Metal-on-metal hip replacements can, over time, grind against one another, releasing heavy metals into the bloodstream.
Symptoms of metallosis may include:
- Hip or groin pain
- A change in your ability to walk, usually noted as decreasing mobility
- Weakness around the affected area
- Problems with the heart, kidneys, or nervous system
As metal builds up in the bloodstream and tissues, it can cause increasing problems. Addressing those problems as soon as possible can help prevent further issues and improve your overall quality of life.
Common Issues That Lead to Hip Replacement Recalls
Hip replacement recalls usually occur either because:
- The company that manufactured the hip replacement has noticed a particular problem cropping up often and feels the need to issue a recall to protect its patients; or
- The FDA has received so many complaints about the product that it has forced a recall.
Most often, the device manufacturer chooses to recall the device independently. FDA recalls typically prove very expensive and can take a long time to move through, since the device must go through extensive testing and the agency must prove the problem associated with the device before forcing a recall. A voluntary recall can help the device manufacturer save face and show a strong interest in protecting the health and safety of individuals who use those devices.
Recalls may occur for one of several reasons.
The Device Has Missing Components
In some cases, the device manufacturer may discover that many devices went out missing components needed to implant the device successfully. Those missing components could cause surgeons to need to select another device before proceeding with a hip replacement.
Most of the time, surgeons will notice missing components before proceeding with a hip replacement and can decide what steps they want to take next, including implanting a different device or using other hardware to help make up the difference. This discrepancy, however, can prove problematic for both surgeons and patients. Upon discovering the difficulty, manufacturers may choose to recall the device instead of allowing it to remain on the market, where those problems can continue to present challenges.
The Device Does Not Have Adequate Instructions
Surgeons usually know how an artificial hip works. Each device, however, has unique elements and requires installation in a particular way.
Some devices end up released with inadequate instructions, which could pose a problem for both surgeons and patients who receive the device. In some cases, manufacturers may discover the error when problems crop up after hip replacement surgery gets performed incorrectly. An inexperienced surgeon or one who has not worked with that particular device before may inadvertently install the device incorrectly, which can cause serious complications for the patient.
In other cases, incorrect instructions may go out to surgeons concerning how to implant the device. In some cases, the device manufacturer may choose to issue a recall on the device to prevent further incorrect implants.
Some surgeons may choose to proceed with using a device that gets recalled for incorrect or missing instructions, especially if they have solid results related to the use of that device. You should discuss the device with your surgeon before moving forward with your surgery.
Migration of the Implant
In some cases, the hip replacement may migrate, or move, after implantation. Migration can cause considerable problems for the patient. The surgeon seats the replacement hip in the optimal position during the hip replacement surgery. Migration can cause the replacement joint to not sit as well, which can cause additional pain or raise the risk of injury in the patient.
Early Joint Failure
On average, replacement hips should last for between 15 and 20 years. Younger, more active patients may see deterioration within 10 years after the surgery, but most hip joints last for a long time.
Since most patients do not receive hip replacements until later in life, most patients expect their hip replacements to last for the rest of their lifetimes. They may assume that they will not have to go through a second hip replacement procedure.
Hip replacements that require recalls, however, may fail earlier than expected. The patient may find that he starts experiencing pain in the joint again within a few short years after the initial surgery.
Over time, the replacement hip joint, like a natural hip joint, does wear down. The joint may no longer sit as well as it did following the surgery. Increased activity levels can enhance your overall quality of life, but can cause the joint to wear down faster.
Unfortunately, in hip replacements that require a recall, the joints may wear down even faster than anticipated. Returning pain and stiffness can cause patients considerable complications and anguish.
Fractured Implants/Surgical Tools
In some cases, manufacturers may issue a recall because the parts associated with the hip replacement, including the surgical tools used to implant the device, can fracture and break. Broken pieces inside the body can cause significant problems for the patient. A broken hip replacement can inhibit mobility and cause extreme pain. Manufacturers often issue recalls very quickly.
Hip Replacement Revision
In some cases, victims who require a hip replacement may require a total replacement of the initial device. In other cases, however, surgeons may recommend a hip replacement revision to correct problems with the replacement joint and restore mobility and quality of life. In most cases, hip replacement revisions do not involve the same duration of recovery as the initial hip replacement.
Often, patients can get up and around and restore normal mobility sooner. These revisions, however, may still have a substantial cost. Patients may have to spend time out of work, leading to additional lost wages during a difficult time.
Hip replacement revision usually occurs because of a problem with the initial hip replacement. You may need hip replacement revision if your hip replacement wears down, either prematurely or due to the natural course of use. Some patients also go through hip replacement revisions because of damage to the replacement joint or infection. Patients with recalled hip joints have a high rate of hip replacement revisions.
A hip replacement revision requires more time on the operating table than the initial hip replacement. While it may lead to shorter recovery time, depending on the extent of the revision, it may also add complexity to the procedure. A hip replacement revision can also introduce the normal risks of complications during a surgery.
Depending on the severity of the hip replacement revision or the damage you suffered as a result of the recalled hip joint, you may require more than one procedure to deal with your hip replacement challenges. During the initial surgery, the surgeon may cut away the damaged tissue and the damaged parts of the prosthesis. If you have an infection in the joint, you may need to rest and heal from the surgery and infection, then undergo another procedure to replace the prosthesis and help you restore normal functionality.
Following hip replacement revision, you will need to go through a rehabilitation process. Rehabilitation from hip replacement revision may look, in many ways, similar to rehabilitation after hip replacement. You will need to keep your legs elevated after the initial procedure, and your surgeon may recommend sleeping on the main floor of your home for the first few days or weeks after your procedure. You will probably need to use a walker in the immediate aftermath of your surgery.
Following surgery, your doctor will recommend moving around often to help prevent blood clots and other problems. You will start physical therapy and rehabilitation soon after the surgery. Your therapist will aim to increase strength and mobility in the affected limb.
Approximately six months after your revision surgery, you may achieve normal mobility that will allow you to get around the way you did before the surgery. It can take time for you to recover fully following your revision surgery.
In some cases, patients whose hip replacements get recalled may have permanent complications related to the recall. Metallosis, for example, can cause serious complications, including heart failure, a visual impairment that can lead to blindness, and even cognitive function challenges. Removal of the affected joint and treatment for metallosis can help resolve these symptoms, but it may leave patients with long-term weakness and disability.
Other patients may have permanent complications related to the hip replacement itself. A hip replacement that fails, leading to a hip fracture or other injury, can cause permanent damage. Patients may walk with a permanent limp or suffer from ongoing pain, including pain that proves hard to revolve even when sitting or lying down. In many cases, patients may suffer from an ongoing disability that prevents them from enjoying the activities they usually love. In addition to the physical pain and limitations caused by that type of disability, it may cause depression and disengagement that impact a patient’s everyday activities.
Patients who suffer permanent complications due to a failed hip replacement may deserve additional compensation for their losses. Consult Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to learn more about the compensation you deserve if you faced severe, permanent complications related to your hip replacement.
Hip Replacement Recalls: Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Hearing that your hip replacement got recalled can cause a great deal of confusion and anguish. You already went through the recovery process once.
Many patients would deeply prefer to avoid any future procedures and surgeries, especially knowing that they may face a long recovery process a second time.
Do you have questions about your hip replacement recall and the steps you should take next? Contact us to learn more about the next steps you should take, legally speaking, and your legal rights. Below, we answer some of the most common questions patients have after finding out about a hip replacement recall.
Do I have to have a hip replacement revision to file a lawsuit?
You can file a personal injury claim based on the suffering you experienced as a result of your hip replacement recall. In most cases, however, your doctor will recommend a revision after a recall. Consult your doctor to learn more about your medical options and work closely with an attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
How much compensation can I expect for a hip replacement recall lawsuit?
The funds you receive in a hip replacement claim will not prevent you from having to go through another expensive, painful procedure, but they can help pay for that procedure and provide you with the funds you need to rebuild your life following that situation. Most hip replacement manufacturers do not offer a “one size fits all” approach to compensation for victims who required hip replacement revision after a recall. Your compensation may depend on several factors.
How long did you have your hip replacement before you started experiencing problems?
Across the hip replacement industry, 80 percent of hip replacements last at least 15 years. Around 70 percent of them last for at least 20 years, and some last considerably longer. The life of your hip replacement may depend on your activity level, your lifestyle, and the type of hip replacement you received. If you do not have problems with your hip replacement until ten to fifteen years after your surgery, you may receive less compensation than if you started experiencing problems shortly after your hip replacement surgery.
What type of procedure or surgery did you require to help treat your issues following a hip replacement recall?
Hip replacement revision surgery, while not as extensive as the initial hip replacement surgery, can cause significant complications. If you needed treatment for metallosis, including the full replacement of the impacted joint, you may have a longer recovery period.
To calculate the value of your claim, an attorney will look at the medical expenses you faced as a result of your hip replacement recall. You may have gone through surgery, recovery, and therapy, all of which can cause your medical costs to add up. As part of your claim, you can include all those medical expenses.
Your attorney will also take a look at how those procedures and your recovery impacted other areas of your life. You may, for example, have had to miss work during your recovery, which could cause lost wages to add to your financial concerns. Your recovery may have prevented you from enjoying activities that normally bring you joy or left you feeling isolated and alone. An attorney will help you include those factors as part of your hip replacement recall claim.
What long-term limitations or disability did your hip replacement recall cause?
In some cases, the recalled hip replacement may cause permanent or long-term disability. You may suffer from ongoing pain, even after a revision,or have severe symptoms that decrease mobility for the rest of your life. An attorney will consider those factors when determining how much compensation you deserve following a hip replacement recall.
Does my surgeon bear liability for implanting a hip replacement that later got recalled?
If your surgeon used a hip replacement that had a known recall on the books before your surgery, your surgeon may face liability for medical malpractice. On the other hand, if your surgeon implanted an approved joint with no open recalls, your surgeon does not bear liability for your suffering. While surgeons bear a high duty of care to their patients, surgeons cannot know about challenges presented by a recall until those problems arise.
Your surgeon will likely do extensive research to keep up with the latest changes in the industry and provide you with a solid assessment of the different types of replacement hip joints before you have your surgery. However, that assessment cannot include information that the company has not yet issued.
Contact an attorney if you believe that you received a faulty hip replacement or that your surgeon implanted a specific type of replacement despite a known recall.
Does my surgeon have to notify me if my hip replacement gets recalled?
Your surgeon has a high duty of care to you as a patient and to all other patients that he sees. Unfortunately, the United States does not have a clear protocol in place for notifying patients about recalls and other problems with their hip replacements and other medical devices. Your surgeon does not have a legal obligation to notify you about a recall.
Surgeons’ offices may keep track of their patients in several different ways. Most offices, however, do not necessarily have a list of which patients received which devices. Your surgeon may have to access your medical records directly to know what type of device you received during your surgery. While you can contact your surgeon’s office at any time and ask for this information, your surgeon may not have that information to just pull up automatically when a recall gets issued.
While your surgeon will likely receive information from the device manufacturer in a recall, therefore, your surgeon does not have to use that information to notify you about potential problems.
How long do I have to file a hip replacement recall claim?
When manufacturers issue a recall, they may set a timeline during which they will cover lawsuits related to that recall: generally a period of a few years during which patients who received that hip replacement have the opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.
In some cases, your attorney can help find an exception to those limits that will help you get the funds you deserve. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about how long you have to file a claim following a recall of your hip replacement, including any exceptions you may have that will extend the time you have to file.
How should I handle the cost of my hip replacement revision or other medical treatments related to a hip replacement recall?
In a perfect world, you would turn over the costs associated with a hip replacement revision to the company that manufactured your device. You followed the steps given to you by your doctor and went through therapy to make a full recovery.
Unfortunately, as the patient, you will bear responsibility for any costs related to your hip replacement and revision. You cannot just turn those bills over to the hip replacement manufacturer, nor can you simply ignore them and hope they will go away.
Most hip replacement patients find that they have several options for helping to take care of those medical bills.
- Hospital programs and discounts. Consult your doctor or patient care coordinator to learn what programs and discounts your hospital has available. You may find that you have programs and discounts in place that will help offset some of the costs of your surgery. Your surgeon may also offer payment options that will make it easier for you to take care of the cost of your treatment over time.
- Your health insurance. Your health insurance likely provided vital coverage when you had a hip replacement in the first place. Now, it can help cover the cost of a hip replacement revision or any other medical expenses you face as a result of your hip replacement recall. Contact your health insurance company to learn more about what coverage you have and how that coverage can make it easier for you to manage the cost of your medical expenses. Ask about any copays and deductibles you can expect.
- A personal injury claim. While a personal injury claim will not obligate the manufacturer to take care of your medical bills directly, it can reimburse you for many of the costs associated with your hip replacement revision or any medical costs you experience as a result of your hip replacement recall. A personal injury claim can also provide much-needed funds that will help you compensate for lost wages or help you pay your other bills while you recover.
The device manufacturer offered me a settlement as soon as I notified them about the difficulties I had. Should I take it?
Consult an attorney before accepting any settlement offer after a serious injury or related claim. Many injury victims find that the liable party will attempt to limit its liability as much as possible. Talk to your attorney about the compensation you deserve for your injuries and when to accept a settlement offer versus when you should continue negotiating for the compensation you really deserve.
I did not follow all of my doctor’s care instructions after my hip replacement surgery. Do I still have grounds to file for compensation after a hip replacement recall?
Following your doctor’s instructions after any type of major medical procedure, including a hip replacement, can increase your odds of making a full recovery. Ignoring your doctor can leave you with permanent pain and stiffness in the joint or cause your hip replacement to fail earlier.
Failure to follow those instructions, however, does not eliminate you from filing a personal injury claim if your hip replacement gets recalled. You can file for compensation for any losses that you faced as a result of the recall regardless of whether you followed all of your doctor’s instructions.
How long does it take to receive compensation following a hip replacement recall?
You have bills to pay and expenses to manage. Not only that, you may want to get the compensation for your hip replacement recall in your hands as soon as possible. How long does that type of claim take?
Many hip replacement recall claims settle faster than other types of claims. You already have clear evidence that the device malfunctioned in some way. The manufacturer probably already has a process in place for dealing with recall claims.
However, it can still take time to settle your claim after a hip replacement recall.
It may take longer if:
- You have severe problems and need to ask for a high level of compensation. Some patients have more problems following a recall than others. While some patients may choose to keep the recalled joint and address issues only when they actually have problems, others may need to handle the problem immediately. If you have severe problems, including permanent disability, you may need to ask for a higher degree of compensation than patients who experience relatively minor problems. The device manufacturer may take longer to approve your compensation as a result.
- You need to go through multiple rounds of negotiation. Sometimes, it takes several rounds of negotiation to arrive at an agreement that works for both you and the device manufacturer. Multiple rounds of negotiation may extend the time it takes for you to get your settlement in hand.
Will I have to go to court over my hip replacement recall?
In most cases, hip replacement recalls will settle out of court. The device manufacturer usually does not want to deal with the added expense of going to court. However, in some cases, you may need to take your claim to court to get the full compensation you deserve.
What Should You Do After Your Hip Replacement Gets Recalled?
Many patients first find out about a hip replacement recall when they hear about their hip replacement on a legal commercial or get an email from a friend or family member. Some patients may not even remember what type of hip replacement they received. What should you do when you find out about a recall? Following the right steps can help you maintain your physical health and increase the odds that you will get the full compensation you deserve.
If You Have Unexpected or Unfamiliar Symptoms
If you have unexpected or unfamiliar symptoms after your hip recall, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement and notice that you have symptoms of metallosis, including pain in the hip or groin area, heart or kidney problems, or skin disorders, ask your doctor if those symptoms could result from your implant and whether you need further testing to rule out your hip replacement as the problem.
You should also contact your doctor if you notice pain returning a brief time after your hip replacement or if you notice symptoms of pain that did not occur immediately after your hip replacement. Following a hip replacement, your pain should gradually decrease. If pain spikes or shows up in a way that you did not experience before your hip replacement, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Do not ignore unexpected symptoms after your hip replacement. The longer you ignore symptoms, the longer your hip replacement has to degrade, and the greater your odds of permanent disability. You may have more trouble receiving full compensation for your losses if you ignore symptoms of pain, swelling, or stiffness after your hip replacement.
If You Receive Notice of a Recall
If you receive notice of a hip replacement recall, you should take steps to determine whether your hip replacement falls under the recall and what you should do about it.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible. Many people first learn about hip recalls while watching the news or catching a television commercial when in the middle of some other activity. You might also learn about a recall while researching the symptoms you experienced or while online.
You may not even know if your hip falls into the recall. In some cases, you may assume that your hip does not have any problems, only to realize that you do not remember what type of hip replacement you received.
Get in touch with your doctor to help alleviate your concerns.
When talking to your doctor, you can:
Confirm the type of hip replacement you have. You may have paperwork that displays the type of hip replacement you received, or you may have discarded that paperwork long ago. In some cases, you might never have known what type of hip replacement your doctor used. When you talk to your doctor, confirm the type of hip replacement used. Your doctor will know whether your hip replacement fell under the recall and what steps you need to take next.
You can often get information about the type of hip replacement you received through a phone call. Keep in mind that if you have no immediate symptoms or problems, you do not have an emergency need to visit your doctor. You have time for your doctor to check your records and give you a call back.
Discuss a treatment plan. Your doctor likely already knows about the hip replacement recall and what it will mean for you. In some cases, your doctor may contact you to let you know about the recall directly; however, you should not wait to hear from your doctor to start asking questions if you suspect that you have a problem.
A hip replacement recall does not immediately mean that you have to pursue a hip replacement revision or have the recalled parts removed from your body. Remember, hip replacement recalls can occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, your hip replacement may get recalled because the manufacturer did not include adequate instructions or because of missing parts in the initial implants. Your hip replacement may have no such problems, and your doctor may have installed it properly, which means you can continue to expect your hip replacement to last for the full duration it should.
Sometimes, however, you may need to pursue treatment options after you learn about a hip replacement recall.
Waiting and observation. If you have no obvious problems from your hip replacement, your doctor may recommend simply watching and waiting. You may not need to have any procedures performed immediately. Instead, your doctor may recommend more frequent evaluation of your hip replacement. You may go through more regular scans and evaluations than you would if you had no problems with the replacement joint. While these procedures may prove inconvenient, they can also help you put off more difficult, complicated procedures that may have a significantly longer recovery time.
Metal-on-metal hip replacement recalls: the hazards. Metal-on-metal hip replacements can pose problems. In recent years, manufacturers have recalled many of those devices due to the hazards they represent to patients. If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement, the two pieces of metal can wear on one another over time. This can release heavy metals into your body. Many patients find themselves experiencing dangerous symptoms as a result of those metals in their blood and tissues.
If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement, your doctor may recommend a revision to remove some of all of those parts and replace them with another, safer material. You may want to have this procedure done as soon as possible to help decrease your odds of developing serious symptoms. Your doctor may also want to test the existing levels of those metals within your blood and tissues to determine whether you have any risk factors for more serious problems.
Scheduling a hip replacement revision. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend scheduling a hip replacement revision. In most cases, you can wait for a convenient time to schedule the revision, especially if you do not have immediate problems and pain from your hip replacement. You should expect your hip replacement revision recovery to take time. Depending on the complexity of the revision and how many parts you need to have replaced, you should expect to spend up to six months in recovery after the procedure.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and observation of your hip replacement. Your doctor has likely faced recalled hip replacements before, and may already have a plan in place for dealing with recalls of this particular replacement joint.
Contact an attorney as soon after you discover the recall as possible.
After a recall, you may have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim regarding your hip replacement. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner you can start the process of filing a claim.
In many cases, you can start the process of filing a claim soon after learning about a recall, especially if you have already faced complications while healing from your hip replacement or during the period when you should have had more freedom of movement following your hip replacement.
Do not worry about the cost of working with an attorney. In many cases, an attorney will start with a free consultation, which will help you assess your legal rights following a hip replacement recall and give you a better idea of what you should expect in the weeks ahead. Many attorneys will also accept claims on a contingent fee basis, which means you will pay for your legal services out of the funds you receive in compensation for your injuries.
Get in touch with your insurance company to ask any questions about your recovery. Your health insurance company will help provide vital initial coverage that will allow you to pay your medical expenses associated with a hip replacement revision. If you have the same health insurance company that you had during your initial hip replacement, you may already know the answers to some of your most common questions. However, if you have a new health insurance company or if you do not remember how things went when you had your initial hip replacement, contacting your insurance company can help you learn more about what your company will cover.
- Do you need approval before the insurance company will cover your hip replacement revision? What steps do you need to take? Some insurance companies will require specific approval before they cover the cost of your revision. Make sure you know what your insurance company will cover and what steps you need to take to get your revision approved.
- What options does your insurance company offer for covering home health care?Immediately after your hip replacement revision, just like after your initial hip replacement, you may need assistance taking care of many common tasks around the house, including managing self-care, cooking, and cleaning. You may prefer to have a home health provider come in to offer some of that assistance. Ask your insurance provider what options you have for home care.
- What coverage do you have for durable medical equipment?As with your initial hip replacement, you may need to acquire several different devices to aid in mobility and independence during your recovery. You may need a walker to get around as well as a raised toilet seat or even a hospital bed for your home during your recovery. Ask your insurance company about what coverage they offer for those devices.
- Is my provider in-network? Over time, network coverage often changes for many insurance companies. They may add or drop providers regularly. If some time has passed since your initial hip replacement, make sure you ask your insurance provider about whether your provider falls under in-network coverage.
Keep track of all documentation, paperwork, and bills from your medical provider. The more paperwork you can produce, the better you can document the suffering you faced as a result of your hip replacement recall, including the expenses that may have added up throughout your recovery.
Keep track of all of that documentation so that you can produce it as you file your personal injury claim.
- Your medical scans. You may have scans of your hip replacement that show damage to it and the surrounding tissue. Your doctor may use this information to help decide on a course of treatment following your hip replacement recall.
- Your blood test results. Did you have symptoms of metallosis? If so, you may want to use those blood test results as evidence in your claim.
- Records of the surgeries or procedures performed. What procedures did you require to treat your injuries following a hip replacement recall? If you had serious injuries, you may face higher medical bills than if you went through a routine revision.
- Your medical bills. Medical bills can vary dramatically from one provider to the next. You may also find that different hospitals or providers have different policies on how they issue their bills. Some, for example, may issue multiple bills for the same procedure. You may receive a direct bill from the hospital where you had your revision, your surgeon, and the anesthesiologist who aided during your procedure, for example. Keep track of all of those bills to help show exactly how much the recall cost you personally.
- Reports from your doctor about your progress. Your doctor may issue a report that shows exactly how your hip replacement recall impacted your life, including the limitations you faced as a result of the recall.
Do You Need a Hip Replacement Recall Attorney? Call Us Today.
Following a hip replacement recall, do not wait to seek the compensation you deserve for your suffering. Patients deserve medical devices that will decrease their overall pain and suffering, not add to the suffering they experience.
Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today at 833-552-7274 to learn more about your legal rights with an experienced hip replacement lawyer.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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