Medical professionals often recommend hip replacement surgery to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or osteonecrosis. However, before you agree to undergo hip replacement surgery, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and risks as well as the potential benefits.
The Risks of Hip Replacement
Hip replacement surgery comes with a lot of risks, and you should discuss these with your doctor if he or she is recommending a procedure. Following surgery, you may run the risk of developing blood clots in your leg, which can be life-threatening if they travel to your lungs, heart, or brain. There’s also a chance of developing an infection at your incision site, particularly if you’re immuno-compromised. There’s also the risk of your replacement hip becoming dislocated, in which case a brace or even additional surgery could be required to correct it. Loosening of an artificial hip can cause the joint to fail, which also leads to the need for additional surgery.
Data on Hip Replacement Injuries
In recent years, two major studies have raised concerns about the safety of hip replacement surgery. Metal-on-metal, or all-metal, joints seem to be the most risky. A 2012 study showed that all-metal hip replacements had a much higher five-year failure rate than ceramic or metal-on-plastic joints: 6.2% compared to 3.2% and 1.7% respectively.
Other concerns related specifically to all-metal hip replacement joints include the risk of damage to your health from cobalt and chromium these joints can release into your bloodstream.
For more information on hip replacement hazards, see our post on the Stryker recall.
If your loved one is in the hospital due to a person or provider’s carelessness or negligence, our D.C. medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.