Hip replacements can be a wonderful benefit for someone who has been struggling with limited mobility for a long time due to his or her hips—when the surgeries go right.
When they’re preformed improperly, they can lead to more chronic pain and problems, and a second surgery is usually required to fix the error. In some cases, the problem lies with the overall competence and skill of the physician, while other problems are related to defective materials.
There are some common signs of a problem either with the product or the physician’s skill that you should know:
- A squeaky hip, particularly with ceramic hip replacements, may or may not indicate a problem. By itself, it may not mean anything. However, if you experience any other symptoms that concern you, like unexpected pain with the squeaking, that could be a sign that the hip replacement wasn’t positioned properly at the time of surgery or has come out of its proper position.
- Hip misalignment is a preventable surgical error and is more common with surgeons who are less experienced. A misalignment can leave you with restricted movement, pain and a damaged sciatic nerve.
- Hip dislocation can result from anything from an over-eager patient who tries to take recovery too fast to poor positioning of the hip during the surgery itself. The new hip is only held in place by muscle tension during the first few weeks after the surgery, before scar tissue forms around the hip to help hold it in place. If there’s no obvious reason for the hip to dislocate, it could be a surgical error and may need to be redone.
- Implant loosening, where the implant simply works loose from the bone, is another problem that’s often preventable. While it can occur for other reasons, faulty surgical techniques are often the cause.
- An allergic reaction can occur in some patients when the hip joint is improperly placed and the friction produces fine metal shavings. That can lead to swelling, problems walking, inflammation, pain and even systemic issues like problems with your nervous system. It could be the result of a physician error or, in some cases, a faulty product.
If your hip replacement is failing or has already failed, and you suspect it was due either to surgical error or a product quality issue, it’s important to talk with an attorney. Please visit our page for more information.