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During a revision surgery, I suffered a fractured femur during when the doctors were removing the prosthesis. Can this incident be incorporated into a lawsuit against Stryker?

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Unfortunately, a hip surgery revision accompanies several risks—including damage when doctors remove the old prosthetic. When doctors damage or fracture a bone during the hip removal process, the additional damage may require additional medical care or a longer recovery. Studies have shown that a sizable percentage of Stryker patients who require a revision surgery incur a fracture of the femur during the removal process.

While these events are painful and disheartening for the patient, they can generally be added to a patient claim or lawsuit for damages from the medical device manufacturer.

Most jurisdictions have a strong line of case-law that considers subsequent medical care to be attributable to the original cause of action. Consequently, any complications encountered during a revision surgery or recovery may be pursued under the original basis for the lawsuit. In the rare circumstance, where a patient dies during a revisionary surgical procedure, his or her family could similarly pursue a lawsuit for wrongful death damages based upon the original claim.

Considering that these damages for complications related to a revision can only be pursued while a claim is open, it is imperative for patients considering a revisionary or corrective procedure give serious consideration to during so prior to the resolution of their care. Once a matter is settled, there is no way to attach a claim for subsequent damages.

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The Drug Law Center is sponsored by lawyers who represent individuals and families who have suffered a serious injury or death from a dangerous drug or medical device. While these medical inventions have been marketed to improve the quality of life for people, unsafe drugs and poorly designed medical devices can drastically reduce the quality of life for the individual and his or her family.