When you undergo a major surgery, you’re putting your life in the hands of the surgeons and doctors who will care for you. But they’re not the only ones you have to put your trust in. You also have to trust that the tools and equipment doctors use are reliable and safe. This shouldn’t be something you have to think about, but it does come up. Unfortunately, one medical device company is under scrutiny for claims that they have produced faulty hip replacement devices.

What Do I Do if I Discover I Have a Faulty Hip Replacement?

Stryker Orthopaedics is a company that makes hip implants; however, in recent cases the implants are failing years before they’re supposed to, causing nasty symptoms such as thyroid problems and vision loss.

Some other major symptoms of a faulty hip replacement include:

  • Pain in your hip, leg, or groin
  • Swelling
  • Grinding, squeaking, popping, or other sounds that could be the metal rubbing together
  • Difficulty walking or moving

You should also be mindful of the symptoms of metal poisoning which could be brought on by the erosion of metal at the joint:

  • Damaged kidneys
  • Depression or other psychological changes
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Rashes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cardiomyopathy

What should you do when you have a faulty hip replacement?

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If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of a faulty hip replacement, you should contact your doctor immediately. They can help determine whether or not you need a revision procedure. If you don’t feel comfortable with your surgeon, you may want to consider finding another one.

You should also get an MRI scan done. The MRI will show any damage to the bone around the implant. It will also give them a better idea of what kind of implant was used.

After this, you should see your surgeon again. He or she will perform a physical examination and check for signs of infection. Your surgeon will also take x-rays and blood samples to make sure there isn’t anything else going on.

After all of these tests have been completed, your surgeon will decide how to proceed. There are several options available to you:

  • Revision Surgery – In some cases, the implant has failed completely. In others, the implant still works fine, but it just needs to be replaced.
  • Replacement Surgery – Sometimes the implant doesn’t work well enough to keep you from having pain. In those cases, it will be removed and replaced with a new one.
  • Rehabilitation – Some people choose to go through rehab instead of getting a revision or replacement surgery. This means that they would continue to wear their current prosthesis until it fails. Then they would replace it with a new one. This option is usually recommended for patients who aren’t too young or frail.

How Can I Avoid Getting a Failing Hip Implant?

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There are many things you can do to avoid getting a faulty hip implant. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t wait until you experience symptoms to get a second opinion.
  • Make sure you know exactly what type of implant you had before you went into surgery.
  • Ask your surgeon if he or she has ever performed a revision or replacement surgery on someone with the same brand of implant.
  • Make sure you understand the risks associated with each option.
  • Find out what happens if the implant fails.
  • Talk to your surgeon about the possibility of getting a different brand of implant.

Should you contact an attorney when you find out you have a faulty replacement? 

Yes! Once you have received medical attention, call an attorney right away. Faulty hip replacements are both expensive and traumatic. You should be fairly compensated.

At Oxner + Permar, we believe in protecting your safety and comfort and ensuring that you receive fair compensation. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.