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Hip Surgery a Risky Business


Replacing a hip with artificial components may have become commonplace in America, especially because of the amount of surgeries conducted. However, such an extensive surgery should only be considered as a last resort.

The Mayo Clinic even recommends that only patients with the following symptoms receive the surgery:

Constant pain affecting sleep and rest

Receiving little or no relief after consuming pain medications

Difficulties standing from a seated position

Difficulties walking up or down stairs

Inability to continue everyday activities such as walking because of extensive pain

Hip replacement is not for everyone and physicians believe that individuals suffering from the following should not be considered for a hip replacement surgery:

Individuals who are in poor health or not capable of tolerating surgery or anesthesia.

Are at high risk for infection, or currently suffering from an ongoing infection.

Those with osteoporosis should not receive the surgery.

Obese or severly overweight individuals.

Those involved with extreme levels of ongoing heavy manual labor or those severely physically demanding sports should avoid the procedure.

Although nearly 90 percent of hip replacement surgery have a positive outcome, there always exists an element of danger.

In the past, hip replacement surgeries were predominately for individuals who were 60 years of age or higher, however, technological advancements have allowed individuals much younger than this - whether athletes or individuals suffering from hereditary conditions or accidents to receive a hip replacement surgery.

Although, surgeons and physicians still advise younger individuals to abstain from hip replacement surgeries unless absolutely necessary as very active individuals may wear out an artificial hip anywhere from 15 to 20 years after the procedure.

Components of Hip Surgery

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) listed several components for hip surgery (also referred to as minimally invasive total hip replacement) including removing the head of the femur (femoral head) and replacing it with a ball-and-socket mechanism.

Also, a metal or plastic socket shall be surgically placed into the pelvic bone, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The following is true of hip replacement components:

hip replacement components are commonly made of stainless steel or titanium

plastic and metal prosthetic parts are developed to be durable and wear resistant

prosthetic parts should also be designed to resist corrosion, degradation and wear

There is also another procedure, traditional hip replacement, however that involves making deeper and longer incisions and splitting or detaching muscles from the hips to allow for dislocation. Then, a metal stem is placed into the femur and the stem is implanted with or without bone cement. Currently, the later is less apparent among hip replacement surgery patients.

Hip Surgery Alternatives

There are several types of alternative hip replacement surgeries that can be considered including the following:

physical therapy

walking aids

anti-inflammatory drugs

cortisone injections

joint supplements

hip resurfacing

hip fusion

resection anthroplasty (the bone around the hip joint is removed and allowed to fill with scar tissue)

hip osteotomy (when the bones of the hip joint are realigned).

Overcoming Severe Hip Surgery Side Effects

Hip replacement surgery is often associated with a lengthy recovery period and individuals who have undergone the procedure, quite often patients find that a lengthy list of potential risks are associated with the procedure. These risks can include:

blood clots

infections near the site of the incision and in deeper tissue near the replaced hip

dislocation of the ball of the new joint

loosening of new joint causing pain

breakage of the prosthesis (considered rare; requiring additional replacement surgery)

changing of leg length (either shorter or longer)

joint stiffening as soft tissues around joint may hard

Osteoarthritis Hip Replacement Physiotherapy

While most of these side effects are common among hip replacement surgery patients, there have been recent, unexpected risks associated with receiving the procedure.

Most recently, Zimmer Holdings, a manufacturer of the Durom cup, has been under fire by physicians who claim that the Zimmer Durom cup has been failing in patients.

Specifically, the cup, which is a hip socket has malfunctioned and caused many of the 12,000 recipients of the hip socket to undergo severe pain.

Individuals who are among the several thousand individuals who have received a Zimmer Durom cup should seek medical attention immediately. Also, contacting an experienced Durom cup lawyer is advisable as a medical lawsuit may be necessary to receive monetary compensation for the damages incurred by a victim of the faulty Durom cup.

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