Hip replacement surgeries are an avenue through which many Chicago patients can regain their mobility and along with it, their independence. Unfortunately, sometimes these surgeries fail. The failure may be attributable to a defective implant, or because of a physician’s negligence, which can be grounds for malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured when a medical professional fails to provide the acceptable standard of treatment that others within the same medical community would have provided. A medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago sees many people who sought more freedom and movement that are now left with serious, debilitating symptoms.
What is a hip replacement surgery?
Johns Hopkins medicine reports that patients with severely damaged hip joints often undergo hip replacement surgeries, formally known as hip arthroplasty. This is most commonly done following a hip fracture or for patients who are experiencing severe pain associated with arthritis.
During the procedure, the damaged parts of the hip joint are replaced with either metal or ceramic prosthetics. A metal stem is placed in the thighbone of the affected leg and a ball is then fixed onto the stem. A ceramic cup with a plastic, ceramic or metal lining is then inserted to replace the original socket in the hip. This complete the joint. All parts are ideally designed to resist degradation, corrosion and wear.
An unacceptable number of injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 332,000 total hip replacement surgeries occur every year. The Annals of Rheumatic Diseases lists a failure rate for the procedure at one percent. Although seemingly low, this still means that thousands of patients endure the consequences of a failed implant every year.
Failed hip surgeries
Although surgeons are usually highly skilled and trained, they do make mistakes. These mistakes include improperly fitting the device to the bone, using an implant that is too big or too small, or using a known defective implant. When patients are negligently injured by a medical professional during a hip replacement surgery, they may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Hip joint dislocation
- Degeneration of the hip bone
- Infection, fracture and nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Loosening of the joint
- Legs that are no longer the same length
A medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago understands how difficult these injures can be for patients to live with. To correct the problems, patients may face additional surgeries, an increased chance of infection and a lifetime of debilitating pain.
Those who have been injured due to the negligent acts of a medical professional should contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago immediately. Due to the statute of limitations and other factors, patients have the best chance at receiving compensation for their injuries with the help of an attorney.