What is a Hip Replacement?

Hip problems

More and more people turn to hip replacement surgeries to give them back their mobility and to relieve the pain caused by diseases such as osteoarthritis.

What exactly is a hip replacement?

It is basically as it sounds. A hip replacement is the surgical repair of the natural hip joint. The hip is replaced with an artificial joint (or hip implant). Depending on the nature of the injury, it can be a total hip replacement or a partial using an implant made with plastic, ceramic and metal.

Osteoarthritis, an age-related joint disease, is one of the most common reasons people get a hip replacement.

Total vs. Partial Hip Replacement

A total hip replacement uses an artificial joint to replace the entire hip structure. This requires the surgeon to insert the hip stem into a patient’s femur for stability, replace the head of the femur with a ball and replace the socket with an artificial cup.

A partial hip replacement is done when only one part of a hip needs treatment. For instance, the acetabulum, also known as the socket or cup, remains intact and a ball replaces the head of the femur.

There are three basic components of an artificial hip:

  • Stem inserted into the femur or thighbone
  • Ball that attaches to the top of the femur
  • Cup that attaches to the pelvis

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Accolade TMZF femoral SystemHip implants are designed to mimic the body’s natural movement as closely as possible. They are typically made from a combination of materials including plastics, ceramics and metals.

While the metal-on-metal (MoM) design seemed to promise increased mobility, they also have some of the highest failure rates among all types of hips.

Studies show that MoM implants shed metal particles that have been linked to serious health issues such as metallosis, a serious condition that occurs when metallic debris builds up in the soft tissue of the body. This can also lead to bone and tissue death. Other complications include loosening of the hip implant, joint dislocation and joint squeaking.

Several hip implants have had design flaws and early failure rates and several manufacturers have recalled one or more of their products.

  • DePuy Orthopaedics
  • Biomet
  • Enccore Orthopedics
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Stryker Orthopaedics
  • Wright Medical Technology
  • Zimmer Holdings

Questions about your hip implant? The attorneys at Nash & Franciskato have extensive experience handling hip replacement litigation.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your case. Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

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