With the inventions of new technologies in the medical field, you may wonder why there are still some risks of complications in even the most minor of all surgical operations. Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. It can either be performed as a total hip replacement or hemi (half) replacement. This surgery is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or fix severe physical joint damage as part of hip fracture treatment. Hip replacement is considered as the most successful and reliable orthopedic operation with 97% of patients reporting improved outcome.
Total hip replacement is most commonly used to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis. Other indications include rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, traumatic arthritis, protrusion acetabuli, certain hip fractures, benigh and malignant bone tumors, arthritis associated with Paget’s disease, anykolising spondylitis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The aim of the procedure is to relieve pain and improvement in hip function. Hip replacement is only considered once other therapies, such as physical therapy and pain medications, have failed. The prosthetic implant used in hip replacement consists of different parts: the acetabular cup, the femoral components and the articular interface. Options exist for different patients and indications. Correct selection of the prosthesis is important. Due to the complexity of the hip replacement surgery, complications are bound to happen. Hip replacement complications include blood clots in the veins of the legs, infection, loosening of the prosthesis from the bone, wear of the plastic polyethylene socket, dislocation of the hip replacement, extra bone formation, residual pain and stiffness can occur, the length of the leg may be changed, injury to the arteries or the nerves of the leg, bleeding complication, anesthetic complications, allergy to the metal parts, complications from blood transfusions, fat embolism, and other minor complications. Because of these complications, a hip implant recall should be made. This recall came after a data from a recent study which indicated that the five-year failure rate of this product is only approximately 13%, or 1 in 8 patients. The sad part is that, the defective and dangerous replacement hips have already been implanted in patients. The hip recall means that patients who have already undergone one surgical procedure to replace a hip may have to undergo a “revision” or a second surgery. But even if the defective device is replaced, it can leave behind dangerous, possibly deadly fragments that might not be discovered for years.
DePuy is a franchise of orthopedic and neuroscience companies. This was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1998. DePuy Spine products facilitate fusion of the spine and correction of spinal deformities, preserving motion of the spine and repairing bone fractures. They also manufacture products and offer devices for sports medicine and for the treatment of soft injuries. They identified reasons for the DePuy hip recall as component loosening, misalignments, infection and fracture of the bone, dislocation, metal sensitivity and pain. Additional complications from the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system may include increased metal ion levels in the blood, bone staining, necrosis, swelling, nerve damage, tissue damage and/or muscle damage. This hip replacement recalls spark a lot of controversy that resulted in lawsuits. The hip recall is such an anticlimax for those who have undergone the implant surgery. The hope that they had of living a life that is pain free is shattered and they are hoodwinked into believing that they are finally cured after the surgery. They would also wonder what will happen to them after the recall. Are there substitutes for the implants? How would they go about replacing the replacement when the natural bones are no longer there? They have risk their lives in undergoing the surgery with all its complications in the hope that it can improve the quality of their lives and then the DePuy hip replacement turned out to be a sham.