Around 65,000 hip replacement procedures were carried out in UK hospitals in 2020, according to National Joint Registry statistics.
Most of these proceeded without incident, granting those operated on a new lease of life. Mistakes, however, are sometimes made, with patients being fitted with the wrong sized prosthetic hip replacement being a particular worry.
Indeed, an investigation by the Daily Telegraph found that thousands of Brits have been left in pain after being fitted with wrongly sized hip implants.
Experts at the Negligence Claimline outline the possible repercussions of being fitted with a mismatched hip implant and explains your options if this has happened to you.
Hip replacement surgery is where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial implant. Most are carried out on people between the ages of 60 and 80 when the hip joint is worn or damaged so that mobility is reduced and the patient is in pain even while resting.
The most common reasons for hip replacement surgery are:
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- hip fracture;
- septic arthritis; and
- disorders that cause unusual bone growth.
Even a small mismatch in size of a hip implant can leave the patient with health complications, such as debris breaking off the implant components and entering the bloodstream, increased wear and tear on the implant, and the generation of metal ions.
According to NHS advice, anyone who has a metal-on-metal hip implant should watch out for the following symptoms which may suggest something is wrong with the implant:
- pain in the groin, hip or leg;
- swelling at or near the hip joint;
- a limp or problems walking;
- grinding or clunking from the joint;
- chest pain or shortness of breath;
- numbness or weakness;
- changes in vision or hearing;
- feeling cold; and
- weight gain.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean a hip implant is failing but according to the NHS advice, if you are suffering any such symptoms, you do need to get them investigated.
If it turns out that you have been fitted with the wrong sized hip implant and suffer consequent damage to the hip joint, the surrounding tissue, or any other complications, you may need corrective surgery to replace the implant.
You may also be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering, both emotional and physical, you experience due to the incorrect implant being fitted. You may also be entitled to compensation for any financial loss you have suffered because of your injury, including:
- loss of earnings;
- travel costs to and from healthcare providers;
- personal care and assistance needs;
- home adaptation costs;
- additional medical treatment or physiotherapy;
- medication costs; and
- other miscellaneous financial losses.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be a case against the manufacturer or supplier of the original implant under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
Alternatively, if a medical professional was responsible for the wrong implant or components being fitted, you could make a claim for medical negligence against the person responsible for your injuries. This would require you to show that the medical professional responsible for your injury owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and that you were injured as a result.
For a confidential discussion and advice on compensation for hip replacement surgery gone wrong, or any other medical negligence matter contact us today for a free initial consultation with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors on 01245 253214 or email [email protected]
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.