Hip Replacement and Medical Malpractice Cases
In hip replacement surgery, damaged portions of the hip joint are replaced with artificial parts made of metal, ceramic, or hard plastic. The goal is to reduce the patient’s pain and increase his mobility.
Common reasons for hip replacement surgery include:
- Osteoarthritis. This is also referred to as wear and tear arthritis, and can cause damage to the cartilage that covers the bones and joints of the hip.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when the immune system is overactive. This causes inflammation, which erodes the cartilage and sometimes the bone it covers. The result is damaged and deformed joints.
- Osteonecrosis. When a person suffers with osteonecrosis, the blood supply to his hip ball isn't adequate, resulting in the collapse and deformation of the bone.
While many people undergo successful hip replacements, unfortunately others suffer complications due to a surgeon's negligence. These patients may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the doctor who committed medical malpractice.
Hip Replacement Medical Malpractice: How It Happens
Like any surgery, there are risks of complications associated with hip replacement procedures. A few of these possible complications include blood clots, infection, and fracture of portions of the hip joint. The fact that a patient suffers a complication doesn't mean the surgeon committed malpractice. However, in some cases, the problem is associated with a physician's error.
Doctors may commit medical malpractice in the following ways:
- Failing to implant the properly-sized parts
- Incorrectly installing the prosthesis, which can cause the patient to suffer pain and limitations in movement
- Failing to avoid nerves, arteries, or veins
- Causing an infection due to a lack of proper medical care or sanitary procedures
- Removing too much of the patient’s bone
- Failing to cement the hip replacement parts in properly, to install all necessary screws, or to otherwise properly secure the hip replacement parts
- Making a medical error that results in one leg being shorter than the other
- Installing a device that has known design or manufacturing defects—which could give rise to a products liability claim against the manufacturer as well
- Failing to properly inform a patient of the risk of hip replacement surgery
If you suspect your surgeon committed negligence in your hip replacement surgery, you need the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. He can investigate your claim, hire medical experts to help prove the doctor’s negligence, and negotiate your settlement for you.
Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation with attorney Alan Morton to discuss your situation and learn about your legal options for compensation for your injuries.