Many Berks County residents have benefited from hip replacement surgery. Countless people have regained mobility after having the relatively simple surgery performed. As with all surgical procedures, however, sometimes things can go wrong. A surgical error is one thing that could potentially be harmful. This blog post will focus on another thing that could go wrong: a defective hip implant.
Hip implants usually consist of a ball that fits into a cup, allowing the implant to provide the wide range of motion allowed by the human hip joint. These implants can be made of numerous substances, such as ceramic, plastic and metal. Although the metal implants are more durable than the ceramic and plastic ones, they can be problematic in other ways.
One problem is that certain metal hip implant models have been found to be defective. A number of high-profile manufacturers have had to withdraw these models from the market after the flaw was discovered. Researchers discovered that these defective models were releasing metal debris into the body despite being used in the recommended manner. This debris often triggered a condition called metallosis, which is marked by swelling, severe pain and even blood poisoning for some sufferers.
When a patient suffers this kind of injury, the device manufacturer could be held liable under the law of product liability. Depending on the specific circumstances, the surgeon could also be liable. Under the law of medical malpractice, a surgeon must perform an operation according to a minimum standard. If the surgeon fails to meet the minimum standard, and the patient suffers injury as a result, the surgeon may be required to pay compensation to the patient.