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Stryker Hip Revision Surgery Should Not Be Minimized

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Metal on metal hip implant manufacturers have long tried to downplay the severity of revision hip replacement surgery. Revision surgery is not the same procedure as hip replacement surgery. People often assume that just because the hip replacement surgery was relatively easy, that revision surgery would be similar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Hip revision surgery is far more risky and dangerous than the original surgery. The costs and side effects shouldn’t be minimized.

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Side Effects and Complications Associated With A Stryker Revision Surgery

Here are some of the many risks and complications that accompany revision surgery:

  • Dislocation. The risk of dislocation is much higher with revision surgery. Between 2% and 26% of patients will experience dislocation, depending on the specific circumstances procedure.
  • Bone loss. Bone surrounding the old implant will often need to be removed. In mild cases revision femoral stems can be used. In many cases, bone grafting and bone stock implantation is necessary.
  • Tissue loss. This often happens with metal on metal implants. Tissues around the metal on metal surface will often have metal poisoning an need to be removed.
  • Nerve damage. Between 3% to 8% of patients experience nerve damage.
  • Arterial or vein damage. Blood vessels can get damaged during the procedure.
  • New bone formation. Revision surgery can cause bones to form in unnatural places.
  • Bacterial infection. Areas around the surgery area can get infected.
  • Cracked thigh (femur) bone. This can require further surgery to correct.
  • Extended rehabilitation. Rehabilitation from revision surgery will take longer than the original hip implant.
  • Death of the patient.

Why Are Hip Revision Surgeries More Difficult Than The Original Procedure?

Performing a revision surgery requires more complex equipment than an initial surgery. A specialist may be required to perform the operation, as many of the procedures are rare and require specialized skills. Bone grafting equipment is often required, along with surgeons who can perform bone grafting procedures.

Revision surgery is also more difficult because the area surrounding the implant has weakened. The mechanical components inside the metal on metal implant tend to loosen and wear over time. As these components loosen, they subtly take up more space in the body. This causes the body to slowly leak bone fluid, which dissolves and is re-absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a loss of bone density. This causes a process called bone resorption.

In other words, the bone structure surrounding the implant loses some of its calcium. This weakens the overall area, making the scaffolding necessary for hip implants weaker. The younger and more active the patient, the faster this process happens, as younger individuals tend to be more physically active.
The loss of bone and surrounding tissue can also make it difficult to get a tight fit with a new implant. In order for a hip implant to function properly, it needs to tightly fit into the hip socket. With the removal of bone and tissue, more space is created, which often means additional procedures are needed to get the implant to fit tightly.
Hip revision surgery is physically taxing on the patient and expensive. Though manufacturing companies have often tried to downplay the complications, the truth is that these surgeries are painful and dangerous. If you’ve had to undergo hip revision surgery because of a metal on metal hip implant failure such as a Stryker or DePuy, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact us here or call us directly (888) 424-5757.

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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.

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