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Hip Resurfacing as an Alternative to Total Hip Replacement Surgery

In total hip replacement surgery, the deteriorated natural hip joint is cut out and site is prepared to receive the artificial hip joint.  The site must be prepared very precisely so as not to allow for any unnecessary movement of the artificial hip joint.

surgery1If the hip joint is not placed exactly as required, it can move from side to side or otherwise rock in place and this can result in device failure.  While the vast majority of surgeons are good at what they do and would never incorrectly implant an artificial hip device, it does happen. 

However, as our Boston defective hip injury attorneys have seen in far too many cases, the surgeons are not often responsible for the implantation problems, but rather they relied on a defective medical device.   Many hip implants require the surgeons to use a cutting guide.  This works essentially the same way as a carpenter’s jig.

In the case of a once popular artificial knee known as the Otis Knee, which was made by a company that was then known as Otis Med.  The company is now owned by Stryker, which is a major manufacturer of artificial hips and knees. This is similar to problems we have seen in artificial hips.  We have also seen issues with the hip being designed in such a way that the joint itself will break down causing a total device failure.  This can lead to the need for a second or subsequent operation and considerable pain and suffering for the patient. This can also lead more time away from work, which results in lost wages.

Despite these many problems, the total hip replacement procedure is one of the most common elective medical procedures in the United States.  However, with all of these problems, a recent news feature is looking out how doctors are working on a new procedure that is known as a hip resurfacing.  It will allow for patients to have the femoral head shaved down and capped with a metal sheeting that will protect the joint where the operation occurred.  This means that the femoral head does not need to be completely cut off, as is the case with a total hip replacement procedure.

There is a requirement that the patient also have a strong bone structure, which is why the procedure is also generally reserved for younger patients.  There is also an advantage for having the procedure if you are younger, since even a properly constructed artificial hip will typically last between 10 and 15 years.  This means that a younger person who has total hip replacement operation will likely need to have two or even three future total hip replacement procedures.  Since this is obviously undesirable, many are likely to opt for the new hip resurfacing procedure.

The cause of the hip problems for these younger patients is generally bone spurs. These bone spurs are caused by osteoarthritis in patients who lead and active lifestyle, such as the tennis player who developed the condition in his late 20’s who was featured in the article.

If the knee replacement device you have received proves defective, we can help.

Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

A Lighter Version of the Hip Replacement for Active Men, July 23, 2016, KING 5 ABC, By News Desk

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