What are the Symptoms of Hip Replacement Failure?

Hip replacement lawyers recognize arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery, as one of the medical “miracles” that restores thousands of people to active lives who, not too many decades ago, would have been condemned to disability and pain. That is why each year some 250,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed in the United States. Dr. Edward M. Schwarz, principal investigator at the Schwarz Lab for bone loss research at the University of Rochester, says that total hip joint replacement is “amongst the most successful and beneficial medical procedures to date.” He is not alone in believing that prosthetic hip surgery has made a significant contribution to patient care. According to the British Orthopaedic Association, in contemporary medicine, only cataract surgery has had a more dramatic impact on the quality of patient lives.

However, as Dr. Schwarz warns, long-term outcomes for hip replacement surgery continue to be disappointing because “wear debris generated from the implant stimulates inflammatory cells to promote osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. [This bone loss] can be found in up to 20 percent of patients ten years after primary surgery, leading to implant failure and need for revision arthroplasty.”

So, no matter how good your implant is or how skilled your orthopedic surgeon was, your hip implant may still fail from simple wear.

If you received a DePuy Orthopaedics ASR prosthetic, your risk of failure is as much as three times higher. That is what the DePuy hip replacement recall is all about.

How do you know if your hip replacement is failing? Here are some sign and symptoms:

  • Often particles grind out between the ball and socket, and they irritate surrounding tissue, causing inflammation. You will experience discomfort.
  • Inflammation leads to bone loss (resorption), and the implant may no longer be anchored securely to bone, again causing pain and reduced range of motion of the joint and difficulty walking.
  • When wear of a metal-on-metal artificial joint produces high levels of metallic ions, severe inflammation can damage or destroy muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Your orthopedist may be able to feel, or x-rays may show, masses or tumors in the soft tissue of the hip caused by metallic ions.

If you have a DePuy hip system, even if you are not experiencing pain, you may want to request that your doctor screen for high levels of chromium and/or cobalt in your blood, blood serum or urine. Chromium and cobalt are powerful irritants known to cause contact dermatitis, inflammation and even genetic changes at the cellular level.

Your hip replacement lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group will be prepared to advise you if you are experiencing symptoms you think may be related to your artificial hip joint. We can also help you determine if you should pursue a hip replacement lawsuit to recover compensation from DePuy.