Hip Implant Dislocation

The hip is one of the genuine ball and socket joints in the body. The ball is the top of the thigh, or femur, and is actually ball shaped. The socket is a cup-shaped indentation in the pelvis and is called the acetabulum.

Dislocation of the hip implant is one of the most common complications after hip joint replacement surgery. What it means is that the artificial femoral head slips out of the artificial acetabulum.

Dislocation can occur if a patient moves improperly before the new hip is secure. Patients are taught following surgery to avoid an entire set of movements to protect the implant until it becomes stable. Before scar tissue forms and muscles strengthen around the implant, it is susceptible to coming loose.

The physical therapist teaches the patient which types of movement are ok and which are not. Proper postures as well as strengthening exercises must be followed for weeks after surgery. The occupational therapist helps the patient learn how to help themselves around the house including dressing, bathing, cooking, eating, reaching and picking up things from the floor in a manner that will not put the implant in danger of dislocating.

Other Causes of Hip Implant Dislocation

A hip implant might also dislocate when the acetabulum (or socket) of the ball and socket joint come loose for other reasons. Some types of artificial hips have acetabulums that are too shallow and difficult to implant, according to surgeons who do the procedure. The shallowness of these acetabulums can make it more difficult for the ball part of the joint to be properly seated.

Dislocation of a replacement hip occurs in about 4 percent of patients having surgery for the first time. Dislocation occurs in about 15 percent of patients having revision surgery, meaning another surgery after the initial operation to correct problems. Patient use of alcohol during the recovery period is linked to a higher rate of dislocation as well.

Symptoms of Hip Implant Dislocation

If you experience the following symptoms, you should visit your doctor right away to determine if your implant has dislocated:

  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • A popping sound when the dislocation occurs
  • Swelling in the area of the hip
  • Being unable to move the hip
  • Stiffness of the hip
  • Problems walking or inability or walk to put weight on the affected leg

Sometimes, when a hip implant is faulty, dislocation can occur. Some hip implants have actually been recalled due to high dislocation rates. If your hip implant dislocates early, you might have a defective implant. To find out if you qualify for financial compensation, contact a defective hip implant attorney today.

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