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How Do I Know My Hip Implant Is Failing?

​Hip Replacement Failure Symptoms Explained

Dealing with the pain and frustration of a defective hip implant is tragic but not uncommon. Well-meaning patients who trusted medical procedures to improve their lives may instead find it difficult to even walk. Pain may radiate from the hip or knee, limiting mobility. Even worse, though metal-on-metal hip replacements are full of problems, the number of procedures has doubled in recent years, with little oversight. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, physicians perform more hip replacement surgeries now than ever. However, questions and lawsuits continue to surround hip replacements, like the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, resulting in billions awarded to victims. By identifying hip replacement failure symptoms, you can minimize the damage to your body and fight for your right to compensation.

Hip replacement failure symptoms can be diagnosed by how you feel. If something is defective or wrong with your implant, then you may experience pain and even implant failure. Our implant defect attorneys can identify how components fail in hip implants and will consider the physical symptoms you experience. With a team of experts and your point of view, we can help determine who is responsible for your implant failure and how you can file a claim.

What Causes Hip Implant Failure?

There are many factors involved with a diagnosing a defective hip implant. Weight gain, strenuous activity and general wear and tear can all contribute to component failure if a defect is present. Generally, the three main causes of component failure are:

  • Dislocation of the Joint. This can happen any time, even immediately after surgery. If you move your leg into a prohibited position, you may damage the joint. Doctors recommend that you avoid extreme internal rotation, forward flexion and adduction movements for at least 12 weeks. This recovery period allows protective capsule formations around the joint. However, a defect may result in dislocation anyway. If your hip is dislocated, then the sciatic nerve, a supplier of large leg muscles, is in danger of permanent damage.
  • Loosening of Stem and Cup. This may occur five to 10 years after a total hip replacement. Risk factors include weight, level of physical activity and age. However, stem and cup loosening can also happen when a surgeon uses a poor cementing technique. Design defects may also be to blame. As a result, any mild trauma to the defective stem and cup can cause the femur around the prosthesis to fracture.
  • Stem Failure. This long-term threat to hip replacements results from the wear and tear of the metals in your hip implant. Debris is released which results in bone and tissue loss and loosening of your implant. Up to 35 percent of modular prosthesis exhibit corrosion or other damage.

These failures can happen even if you abide by your physician’s health plan. Sometimes, patients are not told up front about these risks or the dangers are downplayed during your medical consultation. Worse, corrective surgery of a loose implant is more difficult and takes longer to perform than the initial hip replacement.

What Are Common Hip Replacement Failure Symptoms?

Defective hip implant side effects and symptoms can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening injury. Fractures, fevers and tissue damage all tell a story about how your surgery was handled, and may reveal a serious defect. Some side effects to consider include:

  • Pain: If any weight-bearing movement causes you pain, then you may have a loose implant. This includes walking, climbing stairs, sitting down, standing up, turning or other movements.
  • Sounds: If you hear clicking or crunching of your hip, then contact your physician. You may be experiencing bone erosion.
  • Stiffness: If your knee becomes swollen, then you should consider if you have a defective hip implant. You may also feel stiffness in your knee and have a limited range of motion.
  • Aching Pain: It is normal to feel pain after a hip replacement. However, it is not normal to feel pain when you are at rest or sleeping. An aching sensation during inactivity is a sign that your hip implant may be defective.
  • Instability: When you walk and something feels off, this is a sign of loosening of an implant. You may feel that your knee is about to give away, although it may not actually do so. Instead, there is a constant and threatening feeling that it is about to happen.
  • Lumps: The sudden formation of lump or bumps around your hip replacement is a sign of metallosis. The most serious of all hip replacement failure symptoms, you should seek medical treatment if you notice a mass forming. These bumps are referred to as “psuedotumors” and need to be drained by a physician. You should seek an attorney if you notice these lumps, as they are sometimes signs of negligent prosthetic surgery.

Questions About Hip Replacement Failure Symptoms? Call Us Now

Are you experiencing any of the hip replacement failure symptoms listed above? Are you concerned about toxic build-up from your metal-on-metal implant? Otherwise, are you in pain after a hip replacement surgery and think you should not be? If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, then you may have received a defective hip replacement. You should speak to your doctor and voice your concerns as soon as possible. You should also explore your legal options with an attorney.

As a potential victim of defective metal-on-metal hip replacements, you may be eligible for compensation. Our attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley, P.C. can fight for you to receive recovery compensation so you can move on with your life. Do not let the negligent marketing and sale of a faulty medical implant limit your mobility. Our lawyers will review your situation and let you know if you have a case through a free consultation. Call us today at (916) 520-6639 or through our online form.