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Hip replacement surgery is a common surgical operation. Our solicitors deal with medical negligence claims in the UK and they deal with matters using the no win no fee* scheme. If you would like advice from a hip replacement solicitor just call the helpline or send the contact form or email our solicitors offices. We offer free advice with no further obligation. We do not ask you to fund or finance your claim as it proceeds and if the claim is lost you pay nothing.

Hip Replacement Surgery Information

Hip replacement surgery is also known as a total hip arthroplasty. It involves taking a diseased hip joint and removing it from the body, putting in an artificial joint or "prosthesis" in the process. Remember that hip joints involve a ball and a socket, which has an insert which is made from ceramic, plastic or metal. Substances used by the ball and socket must be biocompatible-which means that the substances do not react badly with the body. They are designed to resist degradation, corrosion and wear or tear on the joint.

The goals of hip replacement surgery are to correct a broken hip, to improve mobility of the hip and to increase the ability of the hip joint to bear the weight of the body. You should be able to resume normal everyday activities after the procedure is over with and after you have gone through rehabilitation.

Prior to hip replacement surgery, you will probably go on a trial of pain medications, exercise, and physical therapy, and you may use a can or a walker to get around. If none of these are helpful to you, you need to consider having hip replacement surgery.

Reasons for hip replacement surgery include osteoarthritis, fractured hip, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis (dead bone) or a tumor of the bone. You may have symptoms that include having little relief after taking pain medications, having pain that keeps you up at night, having problems with going up or down stairs, having difficulty rising from a seated position or having to reduce or stop activities you like to do because of the pain.

Hip replacement surgery has its complications. You can get blood clots in your deep veins that travel to your lungs and can kill you (pulmonary emboli). You can get local or systemic infection from the surgery. You can fracture your hip, especially if the bone becomes infected; you can get dislocation of the ball from the socket that can be recurrent. The joint may loosen in the body, causing you unnecessary pain. There can be failure of the prosthesis, which can break and need another surgery. This is true of the DePuy artificial surgery implant that was used over a five year period of time in the latter part of the 2000s. The hip implant can make one leg longer than the other so that you walk with a limp and put unnecessary pressure on the joints of the longer leg. The joint can harden due to bone formation around the joint. There can be wear and tear to the joint itself which can cause you to have a repeat surgery.

During the procedure, the surgeon creates an incision over the side of the hip and removes the upper part of the femur. If the socket is damaged, an artificial socket is placed within the old socket. The ball and joint are united and the incision is closed. The individual can begin walking on the new hip within a few days. There are other ways to do a hip replacement that are less invasive but still do the job. After the surgery, you will have an increased risk of blood clots in the legs so that you may need to wear compression stockings. You will also be encouraged to try to walk by the day following the procedure. Blood thinning medications may be used to prevent blood clotting complications.

Physical therapy may assist you in some of the exercises you need to do in the hospital and at home to get back on your feet again. There may be occupational therapy to get you able to do activities of daily living. While at home, you should have someone available to prepare meals for you. You need to place items you need at about waste level so that you can get to them without having to reach. You may need a raised toilet seat or bath chair in order to get your necessary activities done.

You will see the surgeon again about six to eight weeks after the surgery has been completed. The doctor will make sure the incision has healed and that your ability to function is improving when compared to before or immediately after surgery. You need to know that hip replacement surgery has a 90 percent success rate so it doesn't always relieve your pain or increase your functionality. You may never be able to participate in high impact sports and may only be able to do low impact sports like swimming, golf, walking or bike riding.

Hip Surgery Solicitors

Thousands of clinical compensation claims are initiated every year in the United Kingdom by medical negligence solicitors on behalf of people from all walks of life. A multitude of operations and procedures are executed successfully however a small percentage do go wrong, laying the grounds for medical negligence solicitors to take legal action in order to claim compensation. The no win no fee* scheme is available to pursue negligent hip surgery compensation claims. If you need to speak to a hip surgery solicitor just call the helpline.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here