Hip Replacement Complications Can Include Metal Poisoning, Blood Clots, and Implant Failure

Hip replacement can seem like a new lease on life. With their new joints, patients look forward to increased mobility and to enjoying all of their favorite activities. Unfortunately, many hip replacement systems have been linked to metallosis, blood clots, and osteolysis. Additionally, hip implants can fail early, causing patients to require extensive retreatment. If you have experienced any hip replacement complications, our San Diego, CA, attorneys can help you pursue a fair settlement. At San Diego Injury Lawyer, we have successfully handled many defective medical device claims. With our history of success, we can help you obtain the money you need to cover medical care and retreatment. 

Woman with cane lying on floor

When hip implants fail, patients are faced with the prospect of costly and painful revision surgery.

Common Hip Replacement Complications

Of course, all surgeries involve some risks. Some of the most frequent problems of hip replacement include:

  • Fractures of the nearby bone
  • Infection
  • Tissue damage
  • Altered leg length
  • Blood clots
  • Dislocation of the hip ligament
Implant failure is one of the top reasons for hip replacement lawsuits.

Hip Implant Failure

Many times, these problems can be avoided by choosing an experienced surgeon. In other cases, however, even the most skilled doctors cannot avoid hip replacement complications. In these situations, the problems are related to defective implants. Implant failure is one of the top reasons for hip replacement lawsuits. In some cases, an implant breaks or moves out of place. Other times, the bone surrounding the synthetic joint becomes compromised. Under these circumstances, patients will require an invasive and costly second surgery. Alarmingly, the success rate of implant surgery is much lower the second time. The fatality rate is also 1.5% higher.

Osteolysis

Osteolysis is the most common cause of implant failure. This condition causes your body to absorb bone tissue around the implant, weakening support for the joint. Osteolysis often occurs with metal-on-metal implants. When you move your hip, the two sides of the synthetic joint will rub together. Over time, this may cause tiny shards of metal to break off. As the pieces accumulate around the implant site, they will trigger your immune system. Your body will then attack these foreign objects, but it could also target the surrounding natural bone tissue. In some cases, you could experience initial symptoms such as thigh pain or sciatica. Frequently, however, you will not notice any problems until your implant loosens. 

Metallosis

Metallosis is another frequent reason for implant failure. This complication also occurs with metal-on-metal implants. As minute fragments enter your blood stream and surrounding tissues, they can cause metal poisoning and serious side effects. The symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Difficulties with thinking
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Impaired hearing
  • Neurological problems
  • Impaired kidney function

Left untreated, metallosis can be fatal.

Are You Experiencing Hip Replacement Complications?

If you have suffered from any of the problems described above, you may have grounds for a legal claim. Note that these cases could involve one of two types of lawsuits. If your surgery failed because the implant itself broke or because the metal-on-metal material caused problems, you likely have a defective medical device case. On the other hand, if your surgeon’s negligence led to infection, tissue damage, or similar concerns, you may qualify for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our lawyers will investigate all relevant circumstances. We will evaluate your medical records and talk to an expert witness, if needed. Then we will fight for your rights and for just compensation.

If you qualify for a defective medical device case, you may enter into a mass tort or multidistrict litigation. Not only are these large-scale lawsuits quite effective. They also put tremendous pressure on medical manufacturers, often forcing them to withdraw dangerous products from the market.

Contact a Defective Medical Device Attorney

Following hip replacement complications, you deserve financial and legal justice. Contact San Diego Injury Lawyer to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about your rights.