Every day, the lawyers at Messa & Associates evaluate potential cases involving knee and hip replacement surgery. According to research published in The Journal Bone & Joint Surgery, the number of total knee replacements performed annually has doubled over the last decade, with the largest increase among young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 719,000 total knee replacement surgeries and 332,000 total hip replacement surgeries are performed every year in the United States. While joint replacement surgery can be effective for the treatment of end-stage osteoarthritis (age-related “wear and tear”) and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as post-traumatic arthritis following a fracture of the bones surrounding the hip or knee, patients who have hip replacement surgery can experience long-term and persistent pain as well as other severe complications requiring additional surgeries.
As joint replacement surgery has become more available, surgical techniques have evolved and the medical device industry as produced a wider variety of joint replacement hardware systems. Consequently, the number of surgeons performing knee and hip replacement surgery has increased, resulting in wide variances in the level of training and experience among surgeons who perform knee and hip replacements. Certain types of knee and joint replacement hardware systems have proven to be defective in design or subject to manufacturing problems which have caused the artificial knee or hip to break down, deteriorate, dislocate, and in some cases increase the risk for post-operative infection. Thus, there should be no surprise at the growing number of poor results among patients undergoing both hip and knee replacement surgery.
Of course, having joint replacement surgery is not a guarantee of a pain-free, fully moveable joint, and not every less than optimum surgical result is the result of some problem with the replacement hardware or failure of the surgeon to use proper technique. These procedures also carry with them a risk of potential complications which may or may not be related to a defective product or a problem with the surgical technique, including: infections which may occur even years after the surgery; blood clots; leg length inequality; dislocation and loosening of the implant; nerve damage; fracture; stiffness of the joint; and continued and persistent pain. If you have had a poor result from hip or knee replacement surgery, or if you have suffered one or more of the complications of that surgery, Messa & Associates can help you to investigate the cause of your problems and provide you with advice as to whether or not you have a claim to pursue, whether because the implant hardware was defective, the medical care failed to meet the standard, or a combination of both.
If joint replacement surgery has been recommended to you, you can help yourself and decrease your chances of complications or a poor result by being an informed consumer. When you buy a car, a major purchase for which you spend a lot of money, you want to make sure that vehicle is the right one to fit your needs and you with safe and efficient transportation for you and your family. You certainly would not want to buy the first car you see on the lot, but would want to question the salesperson to assist you in making the best decision to fit your needs. Joint replacement surgery is no different, and you can and should ask your doctor not only to explain the surgery but to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can make sure that the doctor performing the surgery as well as the joint implant used are both right for you.
Before signing any consent to having the surgery, ask the surgeon at least the following questions, and get the complete answers that you deserve.
The information obtained from the surgeon will be helpful to you in understanding your procedure and in dealing with problems which may arise. Even if you do not understand everything that your surgeon tells you, the surgeon’s willingness to openly provide information to you and to answer your questions may tell you a lot about your doctor’s ability and expertise. An added benefit is that by asking these questions, you will force your surgeon to think about your specific situation and needs and may lead to adjustments which will provide a safer and more successful experience.
The medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced in handling complex medical malpractice cases, including but not limited to MRSA infections, surgical site infections, foreign objects, missed diagnoses, surgical errors, and treatment errors/negligence. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical negligence at a hospital, nursing home, or rehab facility, act quickly. Call a medical malpractice attorney from Messa & Associates today, before your rights to legal compensation have expired. Call 877-MessaLaw for a free consultation or submit an inquiry online for a free case evaluation.