Hip replacements are a somewhat common procedure affecting many local residents, particularly those in the elderly community. However, our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys appreciate that even though many people have the surgery, it is not without its risks and potential complications. Medical practitioners, device makers, and other involved in the process still must ensure that they act reasonably at every stage to ensure patients are not hurt.
When doctors, nurses, and other medical employees fail in this regard, it may be a sign of medical malpractice. Similarly, when device makers produce dangerous hip implant products, then those hurt may be able to hold those involved accountable, such as in the recent Illinois DePuy hip implant lawsuits that have been filed in our area.
Sometimes it is hard for local patients to avoid this harm, because residents logically trust their doctors and the makers of these products to ensure their safety. However, it never hurts to be educated at all times about the exact reasons for the surgery, how to prepare for the operation, and understand the basic ways that injuries or complications can be minimized.
Fortunately, more agencies are releasing helpful information to guide residents at these times. For example, the National Institute on Aging–part of the National Institutes of Health–recently explained that new information on hip implants have been added to a senior health and wellness website sponsored by NIH.
The resource can be found at NIHSeniorHealth.gov.
Learning About Hip Implants
The new information explains how hip replacement surgery is often used to treat problems caused by osteoarthritis of the hip. Seniors between the age of 60 and 80 are most affected. The surgery is crucial for many to relieve severe pain and disability caused by the rubbing together of bones when cartilage in the joint breaks down. It is not an understatement to say that severe hip problems can affect virtually all aspects of a senior’s day to day life.
Even though the surgery is often helpful in relieving severe disability, it is important not to underestimate the potential for adverse consequences. For one thing, alternatives should at least be considered. The director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases noted that “Surgery of any type involves risk, and older adults might be hesitant about having hip replacement surgery. [It may be best only] if less invasive treatments such as medications and physical therapy have not helped.”
Our Chicago DePuy hip implant lawyers know that it is also crucial for seniors to be aware of the various types of implants and the dangers posed. Certain metal-on-metal hips manufactured by Depuy Orthopaedics, for example, were recalled after high fail rates were discovered. The failure led to severe pain, risky revision surgery, and some other complications for those affected. Of course most implants are safe, but being aware of the differences and risks is important when weighing all options and making the decision about whether or not to have the surgery or seek out alternatives.
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