As we age, the hip joint may become damaged or diseased due to osteoarthritis or physical injury. As a result, many patients must undergo hip replacement surgery in order to improve their health and quality of life. While the majority of these surgeries yield positive results, some patients experience agonizing health issues. Hip replacement fracture is one of the serious complications that can occur.
Symptoms of Replacement Hip Fracture
The symptoms of replacement hip fracture may include the following:
- Severe pain in your hip or thigh
- Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the area around your hip or thigh
- Inability to walk or put weight on your injured leg
- Injured leg appearing to be shorter
- Injured leg turning inward or outward
Common Causes of Hip Replacement Fracture
Common causes of a fracture include:
- Patient’s Fall: a particularly bad fall may cause the hip implant to fracture.
- Blow to the Hip: a blow to the hip can also cause a fracture in the replacement hip. This often occurs during strenuous physical activity.
- Car Accident: patients who are involved in a car accident sometimes experience hip replacement fracture as well.
In addition, numerous patients have experienced hip replacement fracture as the result of defective hip implants. Tens of thousands of hip replacement devices have been recalled in recent years due to their high failure rates. Many of these models have been linked to fractures and hip deterioration. Because this is a very devastating medical condition, thousands of patients have chosen to file product liability lawsuits against hip implant manufacturers.
In their lawsuits, patients claim that the defective hip replacements caused them to suffer serious health consequences, including fractures in many cases. If the patients prevail in their lawsuits, they may be awarded damages for any lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering that resulted from the defective hip implants. Keep in mind that even if your model of hip replacement hasn’t been recalled, you may still have a cause of action if it can be shown that your implant was defective.
Treatment for Replacement Hip Fracture
If you believe you’ve experienced a hip replacement fracture, it’s extremely important that you seek prompt medical attention. If you are unable to do so yourself, you should have someone call for help immediately. If the fracture goes untreated, you could suffer life-threatening consequences, including infection and blood poisoning.
Because of the severity of the injury, you’ll generally need to visit the emergency room. In most cases, your doctor will perform a medical examination and order x-rays, an MRI, or a CAT scan in order to locate the fracture and determine a course of treatment. In most cases, the treatment is total hip revision surgery. During this surgery, your doctor will remove your fractured hip implant and replace it with a new replacement hip. After surgery, you may be required to stay in the hospital for a period of time while your hip heals.
Even after being discharged, many patients will need to attend rehab treatment or physical therapy in order to regain their range of motion. In particularly serious cases, patients may need to move into nursing homes for care following the surgery. Some patients never fully recover from surgery. They may need a walker or cane to assist them with movement. Others may require caregivers to help them with their daily activities.
The Next Steps
If your doctor has diagnosed you with a replacement hip fracture, you should find out the type of hip implant you have in order to determine whether the model has been the subject of a recall or other issues. If your doctor can’t provide you with this information, you should ask the hospital where you had your hip surgery for your medical records. It may be in your best interests to consult with an attorney to learn more about your legal options. Keep in mind that a law called a statute of limitations generally limits the time you have to file a lawsuit.