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Six Risks of Hip Revision Surgery

Metal-on-metal hip implants, including DePuy’s Pinnacle implant, may cause complications that require revision surgeries. Device failure, chronic pain, cobalt toxicity, and  pseudotumors could require patients to undergo these procedures. While a revision surgery could alleviate problems caused by a Pinnacle hip implant failure, it also comes with risks. Some of these risks are common to surgical procedures in general, while others are only associated with revision surgeries.

​Revision surgeries take longer to perform and are riskier than primary hip replacement procedures.  The risks of a hip revision surgery may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Infections. Infections are a risk associated with any type of surgery, including procedures for replacing a hip implant.
  2. Blood clots. Blood clots are possible after a revision surgery. Some individuals may be at risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs.
  3. Bone loss or bone fractures. Bone loss is possible after hip replacement revision surgery. Some patients may suffer bone fractures due to the revision procedure especially if their bone stock was compromised as a result of the metal-on-metal hip implant.
  4. Dislocation. There is an increased risk of dislocation with hip revision surgeries. In such cases, the ball used in the hip replacement device comes out of the socket. The device could also be at risk of loosening after a revision surgery.
  5. Anesthesia complications. Most surgical procedures require some type of anesthesia, either localized or general. Depending on the patient and other factors, anesthesia complications may occur during a hip revision surgery.
  6. Tissue damage: Muscle atrophy and even necrosis (death) are typically seen in patients with MoM hip implants. When atrophy affects the gluteus minimus and/or gluteus medius (certain muscles in the buttocks), the surgeon may have to perform an abductor repair during revision.

Unfortunately, revision surgeries tend to be riskier than the index (initial) hip implant surgery due to the extent of tissue/bone damage caused by the Pinnacle hip implant. There is a further risk of bone loss in removing and replacing the cup. In addition, the surgeon may also have to remove the stem. If it is well-fixed, they may cut the bone (known as a trochanteric osteotomy) and this may also fracture the bone leading to a need for cables and plates. This would potentially require another surgery to remove those cables and plates. Furthermore, the recovery/rehabilitation is longer than the index surgery.

Our website contains questions you can ask your doctor prior to or after a revision surgery. Future blog updates will discuss answers to these questions in more detail. Be sure to continue following our blog for these important updates.

Recovering Compensation for Pinnacle Hip Implant Injuries

The medical device attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley have experience with defective hip implant cases. If a Pinnacle hip implant harmed you or a loved one, then you could speak to our attorneys to learn about possible options for recovering compensation.

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