Hip Arthroplasty - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


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Hip Arthroplasty

A hip arthroplasty is an orthopedic procedure in which damaged parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts that are made from hard plastic and metal. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis and it serves the function of reducing pain and improving the ability to walk and function.

The surgery is also called hip replacement surgery or total hip arthroplasty; the procedure might be an option for patients who have chronic hip pain that is not well controlled on more conservative options. Most people who have a total hip arthroplasty have arthritis of the hip.

There are other conditions that necessitate a hip replacement, providing that conservative measures fail in the first place. These are the conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system is hyperactive and fights the body’s own connective tissue. The cartilage is affected and the joint breaks down. It cannot be repaired by anything except a hip replacement.
  • Osteoarthritis. This involves a lot of wear and tear on the joint so that the cartilage can be damaged beyond repair. An artificial joint is necessary to relieve the pain.
  • Osteonecrosis. This happens when there is a lack of blood supply to the proximal femur, the ball part of the joint. This part collapses and becomes deformed so that a replacement joint is necessary.

Symptoms that make it seem as though a hip replacement is necessary include the following:

  • Pain worse with walking, even with a cane or walker.
  • Pain is bad even with pain medication
  • The pain interferes with sleep
  • Pain makes it difficult to get up from a sitting position
  • Pain affects your being able to get up and down stairs

There are a number of risks associated with having a total hip arthroscopy. These risks include:

  • Getting an infection at the incision site and in the tissues deep to the incision. Usually these can be treated with strong antibiotics; however, a major infection near the prosthesis may mean you have to have surgery to remove the old prosthesis, clean the infection out, and replace the prosthesis with a new one.
  • Blood clots. These can form in the deep veins of the legs, usually after surgery. A piece of the blood clot can break off and go up to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism. The clot can also go to the heart and the brain as well. If you have a blood clot in your leg, you need to take blood thinning medication to lessen the risk of serious complications.
  • Fracture. The healthy parts of the femur might fracture during surgery. It can be a minor fracture or a major fracture. Minor fractures heal spontaneously while major fractures need to have open fixation with plates, screws, wires, pins or bone grafts.
  • Alteration in leg length. Sometimes having a replaced hip will make one leg shorter or longer than another. This can be caused by leg weakness in the muscles and can be improved by exercise of the affected muscles.
  • Dislocation of the joint. Whenever you do certain positions, you can cause the ball and socket to become separated. There are recommendations as to how you can move the leg to avoid dislocation of the joint. You may need a brace to keep the joint in place until it is more stable.
  • Loosening of the rod. The rod that goes down into the femur can loosen over time so you have excessive pain. This is less common in newer implants but if it happens, surgery is recommended to fix it.

Metal on metal complications are less common these days as ceramic balls are now used. They used to use metal cup liners that fit with a socket that is also metal. These release metal ions into the bloodstream and cause total body inflammation and erosion of bone. These are rarely used today because of this complication.

Hip Arthroplasty - Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our hip arthroplasy solicitors operate using the no win no fee* scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here