Possible Complications of Hip Replacement Surgery
Loosening occurs when the hip replacement does not stay attached to the bone in the correct position. The patient may experience pain and difficulty walking or performing other activities involving the hip. The only way to correct this problem is to undergo more surgery. Many replacement hips wear out or “loosen” over a 20-25 year period; the defective DePuy hip replacements may become loose within five years or less.
Fractures occur where the bone around the implant may have broken. The bone around the replacement can splinter or break, causing extreme pain and loss of mobility. Another hip replacement surgery is the only resolution resulting in additional pain and time away work and other life activities. A fractured bone also adds to the technical difficulty of removing and replacing the attaching device during surgery.
Dislocation occurs where the two parts of the implant, the ball and the socket, moving against each other are no longer aligned. This can severely impair range of motion and cause pain. The only resolution is revision surgery and replacement of the misaligned components.
Metal in the Bloodstream
Because the ASR hip replacement systems both involve metallic components that move against one another, the friction causes small metal particles to flake off and enter the patient’s bloodstream. The DePuy implants are designed and marketed for active people who need a wide range of motion so those patients are likely to be younger and could suffer exposure to the metal toxicity for many years. Metal toxicity has been shown to cause cancer in industrial exposures but not yet in hip implant cases. It will take many years to determine whether there is a risk of these conditions from the DePuy hip replacement implants made by Johnson & Johnson.
Revision Hip Replacement
The surgery to remove and replace the recalled DePuy hip replacement systems may cause serious complications itself. Revisions are more complicated operations than initial hip replacements, and the results are rarely as good as the first surgery.
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Any hip replacement patient with a Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR hip implant should seek legal advice now because even if there are no symptoms now, there is a substantial risk of injury from these implants and there is limited time to file a lawsuit for compensation.
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