This site primarily focuses on hip replacement problems where the patient has received a hip implant that is subject to a recall, or where there is an emerging concern about the performance of a particular type of implant, but a recall has not yet taken place.
The point in time after initial surgery at which hip implant failure occurs will be of interest to a patient's orthopaedic surgeon in his assessment and diagnosis of the root cause of a hip replacement problem.
Included on this page is a simple timeline against which the whole range of hip replacement problems and possible outcomes can be considered.
The timeline diagram below is intended to provide a backdrop and draw the distinction between
Click on the Diagram (above) to view a larger version; then Click on the 'Close' button or the dark area around the expanded image to return to the original page.
When a particular type of hip implant device exhibits higher than expected revision rates at given time intervals following the original surgery, all interested parties will want to understand the root cause as a matter of priority. Some devices that have been recalled in recent years have exhibited failure rates significantly higher than were anticipated when the product was introduced.
For example, hip replacement problems that occur say 5-8 years following the original surgery may suggest that a hip implant device is potentially faulty, but there are a number of equally valid alternative explanations for hip implant failure in that timescale, including for example: the patient's lifestyle, weight or unusually high levels of physical activity.
When attempting to understand and assess a problem with hip replacement it is important to keep in mind the full spectrum of risks that are inherent to all hip replacement surgery. For ease of cross referencing within this site, I have grouped these risks below into one of three categories labeled below as P, Q & R.
P - The general risks of hip surgery include:
Q - In addition, regardless of the type of hip implant used, there may be adverse events after surgery, including:
R - There is also the risk that other symptoms might present after surgery that may indicate that a hip implant device is not functioning as intended. These symptoms include:
Relating the Risks of Hip Surgery to Recalled Hip Implant Devices
Hip implant recall notices typically flag a variety of reported adverse symptoms which include:
The brief discussion above highlights the complex nature of replacement hip problems and the need in every case for expert medical assessment, and possibly testing, to allow the orthopedic surgeon to form his opinion on the root cause of the problem.
Post-operative hip replacement problems can be a function of one or more of: