Latest updates on hip replacement surgery

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hip replacement surgery has reportedly emerged as one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States.  In fact, government statistics shows that it is carried out more than 300,000 times in the country each year.  Recognized as one of the most successful interventions in orthopedic medicine, hip replacement surgery has revolutionized the nature in which a severely damaged hip is treated, according to medical experts.

Also referred to as total hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery is a procedure that entails the removal of a diseased or damaged hip joint, which is then subsequently replaced by an artificial hip device, as described by medical journals.  It is a surgical intervention frequently performed in individuals with severe cases of hip osteoarthritis -- a degenerative joint condition characterized by pain and stiffness, reduced range of motion, and decreased flexibility in the affected joints.  Other problems for which a patient may necessitate hip replacement surgery also include hip damage from serious injury or fractures, and other related conditions, such as septic arthritis, avascular necrosis, Paget’s disease of the bone, bone tumors, and hip dysplasia.

Over the last 10 years, significant improvements in the artificial bearing surfaces of hip implants have allowed different types of hip replacement implants to be utilized in patients during hip replacement surgery, medical experts say. These implants vary in composition and structure, with the conventional ones containing ceramic or plastic materials and newer devices comprising components made of various metal alloys. Designed to last longer than traditional hip devices, metal-on-metal hip implants with ball-and-socket junction have grown in popularity since they have been introduced by the medical device industry. Alongside their benefits, however, were mounting reports of device-related problems that have drawn a series of hip replacement lawsuits against major medical device companies.

Lawsuits highlighting hip replacement implant hazards have been brought in various courts throughout the US. Most of these cases claim that recipients had to undergo revision surgery to address the problems allegedly caused by their hip replacement implant. Added information about the dangers these medical devices have been reported to cause may also be found on various personal injury law firm sites, such as provided by the Rottenstein Law Group.

The author is a health writer and researcher from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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