A hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with plastic or metal implants. When non-surgical arthritis treatments fail to provide pain relief, or to repair a traumatic injury, your doctor may recommend a hip replacement. The artificial hip implant is designed to relieve pain associated with your bad hip.
Types of Arthritis Associated with Hip Replacement Surgery
Arthritis is caused by the inflammation of one or more joints. It is the most common cause of pain in the hip. There are five main types of arthritis that can affect the hip:
- Osteoarthritis – “Arthritis of the bone.” This type of arthritis is caused by general wear and tear and more commonly affects older people. It is the most common form of arthritis.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the entire body. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the hip’s synovial lining, a lining that contains lubricating fluid. The fluid helps the hip joint move smoothly. When the synovial lining swells or becomes inflamed, pain follows. Eventually, this type of arthritis leads to bone and cartilage deterioration. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis – a chronic inflammation of the spine and sacroiliac joint (the joint where the spine meets the pelvis) that sometimes causes inflammation of the hip joint. This type of arthritis is most common in men aged 17 – 35, but it can occur in both genders of all ages.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – known by its common name, lupus. It is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any part of the body, including the hip joint. If lupus affects the hip, pain and inflammation can occur. The disease is most common in women aged 15 – 35.
- Psoriatic Arthritis – this type of arthritis can affect any joint in the body and causes pain, swelling, and stiffness when it affects the hip joint.
- All types of arthritis may cause pain in the hip joint, including pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks, stiffness in the hip, difficulty walking, pain that is worse in the morning, and pain that worsens with vigorous activity.
Treatment and Surgery for Hip Joint Pain
When first diagnosed with arthritis, doctors will try to treat the pain conservatively. Treatment can include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen), corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, exercise, and the use of a walker or cane. Doctors may also recommend a change in the arthritis sufferer’s lifestyle. It is important to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and to change activities to minimize pain in the hip.
When conservative treatments fail and the hip joint is severely damaged, a total hip replacement may be appropriate. In a hip replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with orthopedic implants. Stryker hip implants, Depuy hip implants, and Zimmer Durom Hip Cup implants are two commonly used versions, some of which are reported to be defective.
When the femoral head is damaged, it is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the center of the femur. The metal stem may be cemented into the femur or “press-fitted” into the femur. A metal ball is then placed on the upper part of the stem, which replaces the damaged femoral head. Next, the acetabulum is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are used to keep the socket in place. Finally, a metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and socket to create a smooth, gliding surface.
Hip Implant Recalls
While total hip replacements are the last resort for solving hip joint pain, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled several of the metal on metal hip implants used during hip surgery due to high rates of post-surgery failure.
The DePuy ASR™ XL Acetabular System was voluntarily recalled in 2010 when a study indicated that patients were experiencing high rates of revision surgery. Depuy Orthopedics recalled the hip replacement implant after 13 percent of study recipients experienced pain and swelling due to loosening of the device, bone fracture around the device, and dislocation of the device.
Two years later, medical device manufacturer Stryker Corporation issued a recall for two of their hip replacement implants. The Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems were both recalled in 2012 “due to the potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction which may result in ALTR (adverse local tissue reactions) as well as possible pain and/or swelling at or around the hip.” In other words, instead of curing patients’ hip joint pain, these medical devices caused additional pain and swelling, which led to revision surgeries.
Metal on metal hip implants have been shown to fail at a higher rate than the traditional implants with plastic bearings. The FDA has since proposed regulations that would require metal on metal device manufacturers to provide more information on the testing, safety, and effectiveness of the devices.
Hip Implant Lawsuits
Thousands of patients who received the Depuy and Stryker hip implants have filed lawsuits claiming the medical devices were defective and caused them additional pain, suffering, and medical expenses related to revision surgery.
Johnson and Johnson, the parent company of Depuy, set aside $2.5 billion in 2013 to settle nearly 8,000 lawsuits filed by patients who underwent revision surgery after receiving the company’s metal on metal hip implants.
In 2014, Stryker agreed to pay out $1.4 billion to settle claims filed against them following complaints related to their metal on metal devices, the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems.
Hip Implant Lawyer
If you have been injured from a hip replacement, contact hip replacement recall lawyer Christopher Dixon to discuss your rights. We take great pride in aggressively fighting for hip implant victims and accepting nothing less than full reimbursement for your injury and inconvenience. Hip implant manufacturers’ attempts to place profits ahead of people are resulting in massive liability.
Our case intake specialists are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your hip implant claim by calling (314) 409-7060, or 855-55-BAD-DRUG. Call for a FREE Legal Consultation.