When Your Replacement Hip Fails

Posted on: 14 October 2019

Trying to get around with a deteriorating hip can be agonizing. Fortunately, advances in medical technology have allowed thousands of sufferers to regain precious mobility and enjoy life to the fullest again. Some of those artificial joints, however, don't carry the promise of enjoyment and instead cause victims to experience pain in a whole new way. To learn more about dealing with faulty hip implants, read on.

Hip Stability is Vital

Your hips support your body, of course, but they also make it possible to walk, bend, and sit. The hip is a prime area for a bone-deteriorating disease called osteoarthritis. As the cartilage in the hip breaks down, the upper part of your leg starts to grind against the hip socket. Soon, the cartilage is worn away to the extent that walking is not possible without pain and stiffness.

How Hip Implants Work

Hip replacement parts can be constructed from a variety of materials, and they are made with the expectation of lasting for a very long time. Ceramics, plastics, chromium, and cobalt are a few common ingredients that make up hip implants. Unfortunately, hips made with a combo of cobalt and chromium may not withstand the stress of everyday use and thus begin to weaken more rapidly than hips made of other materials. That may be unfortunate for those who expected the hip to last longer, but that is only the beginning of problems for some victims.

Cobalt Toxicity and Metallosis

As the structural integrity of the hip implant weakens, minute metal fragments can shave off and enter the bloodstream. Along with the hip being more prone to breakage, metallosis can cause pain, numbness, swelling, stiffness, and problems placing weight on the hip.

Identifying the Issue

If you are having problems with your hip implant, you might be the owner of a faulty implant. Contact your orthopedic surgeon to find out the make and model of your implant if you do not already know it. You could be eligible for compensation from the hip manufacturer if your hip implant is among those identified as faulty. To preserve your rights to be compensated, take the following actions:

  1. See an orthopedic doctor and have your implant x-rayed and examined.
  2. Begin keeping a journal to record the daily struggle of dealing with the symptoms of a faulty hip implant.
  3. Speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may only have a limited time to take action and file a suit.