Essential Tips to Help You Win Your Hip Replacement Case
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Hip replacement surgeries are common, and many patients think they are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, particularly when they involve metal-on-metal hip replacement medical devices.
If you’re experiencing physical difficulties following hip replacement surgery or receive notice of a recall on the medical device implanted in your hip, knowing what your options are going forward is crucial. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, you’ll want to consider filing a hip replacement case to recover both physically and financially.
Medical procedures like hip replacement can be expensive and physically challenging. If you need to go through the procedure a second time to replace the device, you may experience high costs for the revision, treatments, and medications that follow. You also lose precious time and quality of life as you go through yet another recovery process.
Since issues with hip replacements are common, you may be able to join a lawsuit already in process, or you can file your own medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon of your hip replacement procedure. Meet with a Michigan product liability and medical malpractice attorney at our law firm and follow these essential tips to help you win your hip replacement case and get the compensation you deserve.
Identify Hip Replacement Recalls
There are current hip replacement recalls for both the Depuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate ABG medical devices in Michigan. However, recalls for other devices may happen in the future, so it’s essential to know which type of device you have and to stay informed about new recalls.
One of the companies, DePuy Orthopedics, is a division of Johnson & Johnson. Their ASR hip implant received FDA approval in 2005 without undergoing clinical trials. Promoted as lasting at least 15 years, a recall occurred just 5 years after being placed on the market. The timing of Dupuy’s recall is problematic, as they knew of the problems well before then. Because of this, you may be eligible for compensation under manufacturer liability if you have their device.
Medical device manufacturers are held to a high standard of care, and they must be held accountable when they fail to meet that high standard. The following manufactures have been or are currently subject to recalls or lawsuits:
- Depuy Orthopedics
- Stryker Orthopedics
- Encore Orthopedics
- Zimmer Holdings
- Wright Medical Technology
- Smith & Nephew
Seek Medical Testing and Treatment
Even if you follow all your doctor’s instructions, from keeping the incision site clean and dry to following all prescribed rehabilitation measures, complications can arise through no fault of your own.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recently reported that over 450,000 hip replacements occur each year within the United States. Hip and knee replacements top the list of the most orthopedic procedures conducted, but unfortunately, many faulty products and negligent medical personnel still cause significant issues. If you suffer from negligence on behalf of the manufacturing company or your doctor, it’s essential that you receive the healthcare you need to heal.
Know The Symptoms
Even if your device is not associated with a recall, knowing the symptoms commonly associated with hip replacement issues means you can see a doctor if you experience any of them before they become too severe. Symptoms associated with faulty metal-on-metal hip replacement include:
- Pain in the hip, groin, and leg areas
- Limping or noticeable change in your walking ability, requiring a walker or crutches
- Change in range of motion
- Swelling of the hip joint or nearby areas
- Difficulty with daily activities
Additional complications often experienced include the development of blood clots and metallosis, which is a buildup of shedding metal particles in the body.
Inform your doctor of any symptoms, whether they happen immediately after returning home from the hospital or weeks later. Even if you think they are related or not to your hip replacement, it’s important to let your primary physician know about them.
Follow all doctor recommendations, including prescribed exercises, and attend every follow-up appointment since you will need thoroughly documented medical records to help win your case, including any pain medications prescribed.
Even if you have no present symptoms but have a recalled product, you need blood tests to determine if a metal breakdown has occurred in your body. These tests identify chromium and cobalt metal ion levels.
If you receive a diagnosis, don’t sign a consent form for removal and replacement before seeking legal advice.
Compile Detailed Records
Presenting detailed records in your case is highly beneficial to achieving a win. Records play a major role in product liability and medical malpractice cases.
First, compile all medical records from your surgeon, follow-up care providers, and additional doctors, physical therapists, or others seen after your total hip replacement surgery. Either type of case will need these records.
For medical malpractice cases, identify any of the following committed by your surgeon or anyone else on the medical team:
- Offered incorrect diagnosis
- Conducted unnecessary surgery
- Caused additional injury during surgery
- Discharged from your hospital stay too early
- Neglected to provide adequate follow-up care after leaving the hospital
- Failed to acknowledge a critical lab test result
- Misread lab results
- Prescribed wrong medications or dosages
- Failed to diagnose a condition or provide medical advice
To prove negligence, medical records will provide the necessary evidence. Your medical malpractice lawyer can collect these for you while knowing precisely what to look for to prove your case.
For a product liability case, compile records regarding any of the following:
- Failure to warn: Did the manufacturer and surgeon warn you of the potential harms associated with your hip replacement device? Did they provide adequate, accurate instructions? If so, record the dates on which you received this information. If not, also document this as you may be eligible for additional medical expenses and even lost wages if the required information isn’t provided promptly.
- Design defects: To prove design defects, first look to see if any recall is in place. Even if your implanted device is not on a recall list, it still may be defective in how it performs and, as a result, is unsafe. Are there any reports available concerning potential design defects?
- Manufacturing Defects: Obtain product design specifications from the manufacturer and determine if the end product matches those specifications. If not, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
Proving that the hip replacement device failed to work as intended is key, which could be challenging. A dedicated product liability attorney can use their expertise to prove this in court and help you win your case.
Hire an Attorney with a Medical Background
An important factor in your hip replacement case is hiring an experienced attorney with a medical background, familiar with medical terminology, understands medical concepts, and knows what to ask and look for to increase your chances of a successful case.
Eileen Kroll is a partner with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., and has the legal know-how to present and win your legal case. Eileen also has a background as an RN and understands all that is involved with a hip replacement procedure. With her combined legal and medical skills, your case gains solid representation and a higher potential for a winning outcome.
The types of benefits that your attorney may seek include:
- Medical bill expenses for surgeries, treatments, and medications
- Costs for future medical bills, including time spent in rehabilitation centers
- Loss in wages if you cannot work
- Compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering
Hire an Experienced Michigan Attorney to Help Win Your Case
Recovery from hip replacement surgery is hard enough, but when combined with pain and other failed implanted device symptoms, it becomes unbearable.
You have the right to pursue a lawsuit for deserved compensation. Contact our dedicated product liability and medical malpractice attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., today to find out how to win your hip replacement case. Call 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.