3 Things to Know Before Getting a Hip Replacement
More than 300,000 people have hip replacement surgery in the United States every single year, and for the vast majority of people it is a surgery that is monumentally beneficial to patients who finally obtain pain relief and can go about living a happier and healthier lifestyle. Ideally, hip replacement surgery should be expected to last 20 years or longer, but it is not a procedure that is free of risk or complications.
Here are three things to know before getting a hip replacement surgery:
It’s Not a First Option
Many patients who are experiencing hip pain may be eager to undergo hip replacement surgery in order to finally deal with the problem, but it is important to try a wide range of solutions that aren’t so invasive before undergoing surgery. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen, cortisone shots, or even physical therapy are all potential sources of pain relief that must be explored.
Additionally, it is important to determine what the true source of pain may be. While the pain may be felt in the hip, it could be emanating from back pain, or knee troubles. If the pain is constant, even at night or while resting, then it might be time to consider hip replacement. A doctor can numb the area surrounding the hip to relieve the pain if that’s the true source of your discomfort.
Hip replacement is a major surgery, one that will prevent you from driving or even moving around easily for several weeks or months following the surgery. You will not only need adequate down time, but you will also need someone who is there to provide support or help after the fact. It can be very difficult for patients that live alone to return home following the surgery and not have anyone to check on them or to help out with basic daily tasks.
If you’ve had any recent medical complications like a recent infection in your gums, you will need to have that taken care of prior to surgery in order to lower the chance of serious complications. If you have a history of heart or lung problems, blood clots, or diabetes, then you may be more likely to experience trouble afterwards. Your doctor may also want you to lose weight or quit smoking before undergoing surgery.
New Materials and Methods
While newer usually conjures up ideas of being better or improved, that isn’t always the case. Historically, hip implants were limited to patients who were older and thus the devices didn’t need to last long-term.
Newer hip replacement products have been designed with combinations of metal, ceramic, and polyethylene, which are designed to last longer in younger and more active patients, sometimes at the ages of 55 or even younger. However, many of these newer products have not been adequately tested or researched, leading to a variety of unique complications, particularly with metal-on-metal implants.
These metal components can rub together and cause tiny metal particles to wear off and damage surrounding bone and soft tissue. Heightened levels of metal in the blood can lead to a wide variety of medical complications, including neurological damage.
Hip Replacement Surgery
While many patients experience an increased quality of life following their hip replacement surgery, it is important to be mindful of the risks and complications that occur with any major medical procedure, as well as those which are uniquely related to hip replacement.
If you receive a metal-on-metal hip implant with no adverse symptoms, then it is still important to see your doctor every year for a complete physical examination and routine X-ray of the hip replacement in order to monitor how things are progressing.
If you or a loved one has already suffered complications from your hip replacement surgery, then you may have legal options in order to seek compensation for the injuries and damages that you have incurred. Patients who have suffered due to a hip implant have successfully filed product liability lawsuits to cover damages for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more, and the legal team at Fears Nachawati is here to help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Our law firm is one of the leading firms in the great state of Texas for medical malpractice and surgery claims and we are ready to fight for you.
Contact our experienced team today for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.