Approximately 200,000 – 300,000 people have hip replacement surgery in the United States each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Hip replacement surgery is important for people who have extensive hip damage that causes them pain or impacts their ability to walk and perform daily activities. In hip replacement surgery the damaged cartilage and bone is removed and replaced with artificial parts.
How Hip Replacements are Performed
After anesthesia is administered, a surgeon will cut above your hip, remove the damaged portions of your hip ad put in prosthetic replacement parts. After the surgery is complete, you will be carefully monitored in the hospital. Typically one day after surgery, you will be encouraged to try to walk with support. You will likely require preventative medication and/or devices to avoid blood clots until you are ambulatory again. Physical therapy will be essential to your recovery even after your hospital discharge. The recovery period can take 6-8 weeks and a follow up appointment with your surgeon is advisable prior to resuming normal activities.
Some of the risks of hip replacement surgery include:
- Blood clots:
- Fracture of other parts of the hip during surgery;
- Dislocation of the hip;Loosening or breaking of the new hip; and
- Change in leg length due to the new hip.
Hip replacement surgeries are estimated to be effective in approximately 90% of patients when they are performed correctly. However, when proper care is not taken to address the risks listed above and to minimize their occurrence then hip replacement surgery can become dangerous and even deadly.
Opportunity for Negligence and Injury
In addition to the common risks of general surgery, the risks described above that are specific to hip replacement surgery can be dangerous particularly, if doctors do not take the necessary precautions. For example, blood clots can form from the decreased movement of your leg(s) after surgery could cause dangerous clots to form in your legs and travel to your lungs. Blood thinners and compression devices can lower the risk of this complication. If they are not provided then a doctor may have been negligent. Similarly, if a patient is not provided antibiotics to treat or prevent infection or the new hip is not properly installed then a doctor’s negligence can cause significant pain and physical consequences.
Medical Negligence and Malpractice Suits
If you have suffered any of the adverse risks associated with hip replacement surgery because of a doctor’s negligence then you may be entitled to damages for your medical costs, lost income, out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering.
When to Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and determine if you have a potential cause of action against a doctor or hospital. If you are likely to recover damages for the injuries that you sustained then your lawyer can help you recover the greatest possible amount of damages by preparing a strong case, negotiating with the defendant, and representing you at trial. Your doctor will be represented by a lawyer who will zealously advocate that he or she was not negligent. You need a zealous advocate on your side too – contact a medical malpractice lawyer today for more information.