Having hip replacement surgery is a complex procedure that involves some risks. Although it is a common practice in modern medicine, there are still cases where the surgeons can make mistakes that can result in issues that can harm the health of the patient. If you or a loved one have suffered negligence during hip replacement surgery, reach out to a lawyer that handles hip replacement lawsuits.
Here’s what you need to know about hip replacement surgeries and possible malpractice that can lead to injury.
What Risks are Involved in Hip Replacement Surgery?
The surgeon removes parts of the worn-out joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. The most common reasons for hip replacement surgery are illnesses such as osteoarthritis (a condition in which the cartilage in a joint wears down or breaks). The cartilage keeps the bones from rubbing against the joints (or against each other). When this occurs, the pain is excruciating.
There are two types of risks when it comes to hip replacement surgeries: risk like any surgery brings and risks that are related to joint replacement operations.
Common risks are stroke or heart attack during the surgery, breathing problems, infections after the surgery, or post-surgery falls.
Hip surgery-related risks include excessive bleeding during the operation, blood clots (during or after the operation) such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, infection in the new joint, loosening of the new joint, allergic reaction to the artificial joint, stiffness or weakness of the artificial joint. Some patients suffer from long-lasting pain after the surgery or even entirely changed leg length.
Another thing that is a risk in such surgeries is the limited lifespan of the new joint (ten to twenty years).
What Surgery Error is Considered Negligence?
To prove that a surgeon made a mistake or was negligent while operating your hip, you and your lawyer will have to check every medical record you have about the treatment.
Your lawyer should consult a medical expert witness who will read and give an opinion about the negligence. Only with a qualified medical expert, you can determine the negligence; otherwise, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit.
Here is what your medical expert witness should consider:
- Your complaints
- What condition you had prior the surgery
- Your surgeon’s experience in performing such operations
- Your doctor’s objective medical findings
- Your medical condition pre-surgery
- Medical textbooks references on such surgeries
- If you got an explanation from your doctor about the potential risks of the surgery.
For example, you had hip pain and took painkillers every time you walk, and your doctor suggested hip replacement surgery, and you agreed. After the surgery, the hip replacement simply doesn’t feel well, and you cannot function well. You feel pain and can’t walk properly, and your leg is now slightly shorter than the other.
This is a case where the surgeon can be found negligent first for their decision to suggest the operation and second, for their unsuccessful surgery.
The surgeon’s decision to suggest a surgery can be considered negligent because although you felt pain, the surgery might not have been a good option. This is according to medical textbooks.
Once your lawyer hires a medical expert, and they evaluate the way the surgeon operated you, they might find the surgeon made a mistake, which resulted in your leg being shorter than before.
Another thing that can lead to filing a negligence lawsuit against your surgeon can be the fact that your surgeon suggested surgery even though you are still a relatively young person. Of course, such surgeries are performed to younger people, but your surgeon had to inform you that an artificial joint lasts only ten to twenty years. In that case, perhaps you would have decided to wait to have the surgery when you are older. This is very important information, which can be a good reason to file the lawsuit.
Reach out to an Attorney Who has Experience with Hip Replacement Lawsuits
If you had a hip replacement and after the surgery got post-operative pain, inability to walk, had trouble with healing, or found that the hip replacement was faulty (one leg shorter than the other, or you were allergic to the new hip) you should consult with an experienced law firm that handles hip replacement lawsuits.
Our team works with such cases, and we have experience with hiring a medical expert who helps us determine whether the client has enough reasons to file a negligent lawsuit.
Call our office today and let us help you in the process of gathering the medical evidence and analyzing your prior and post-surgery operation. We will make sure to give our best so you can get your much-deserved compensation.