Medical Negligence Solicitors
Hip Replacement and Joint Replacement Claims
Joint replacement claims
A hip replacement is a surgical procedure to replace your hip joint with an artificial version. It provides a long-term solution for worn or damaged hip joints caused by injury or disease, such as osteoarthritis. In knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty), a damaged, worn or diseased knee is replaced with an artificial joint. Knee replacement is a routine operation for knee pain when the knee joint has been severely damaged, most commonly by arthritis. You can find further information on the HSE website here and here.
Bad knee and hip replacements – medical malpractice law
Complications have arisen in hip and knee replacement claim cases due to, for example, the surgeon not inserting the hip replacement correctly, where the operation was carried out with poor surgical technique or where insufficient information was provided in relation to the risks of surgery. While there has been much publicity around faulty hip replacement materials, in many cases, the standard of care during a joint replacement surgery can be the source of the problem and our medical negligence solicitors have experience in these types of cases.
We have seen hip replacement compensation claims where nerve damage has been caused during the operation itself. This can lead to lasting damage for our clients as nerve damage can lead to reduced mobility, walking with a limp and pain throughout the body. In some cases, the sciatic nerve can be injured during the operation which can lead to reduced mobility in the foot, known as ‘foot drop’. In other cases, the operation can lead to a significant difference in the length of a patient’s legs which can lead to mobility issues and gait problems. In knee and hip replacement cases, it is possible that the femur bone will suffer fractures and the management of these fractures can lead to medical negligence issues. In some cases, malpractice during the operation can lead to infection in the joint. In other cases, issues can arise where the doctor fails to align the prosthesis correctly.
We have also seen hip replacement claim cases where clients have not been adequately informed of the risks of surgery in advance. Not all medical complications arise due to medical negligence. Often, hardworking doctors have done an excellent job and complications can still arise. In this context, it is of course important that you understand the risks of a hip replacement and can make a well informed decision.
Joint replacement medical negligence claims often leave our clients with ongoing pain and the inability to walk medium distances without an aid, which has a serious impact on their day to day lives. In some cases, revision surgery is required which can be very stressful for our clients. While joint replacements are often associated with elderly people, often, younger people require hip or knee replacements, for example due to sporting injuries or car accidents. These cases can be particularly difficult because our client is likely to have had a full, active life before the accident. Where the surgery goes wrong, this amplifies the impact on their lives. Managing career and family in that environment can be difficult and compensation can be an important step in helping them to adjust to their injuries. The resilience our clients have shown in medical negligence case is an inspiration to us and we work hard to ensure that they can move forward to live full lives.
Knee replacement and hip replacements compensation claims – the legal process
Simply because your knee or hip replacement did not go well does not mean that there has been medical negligence. It is necessary to show that the health care professional acted negligently to the extent that no other medical practitioner of equal expertise would have acted in that way.
Medical malpractice claims are complex. In many cases, the process can be drawn out by the other side where they do not accept fault. It can be a stressful process with lots of hurdles and it can take perseverance. For our clients who are exhausted from the emotional and physical effects of their injuries, it’s important that they have an assertive and proactive team on their side. Equally, that assertive and proactive team have to be sensitive to you and your needs during the process. Our clients have consistently commented on the trust they have felt in Helen and Niall during the process. They have felt confident that their case would be pushed forward, so that they could achieve an appropriate result at court or an acceptable settlement.
Helen and Niall also team up with appropriate professionals – medical experts and barristers – to ensure that your joint replacement case has the best experts it needs. We have experience of obtaining medical reports in joint replacement cases and are familiar with the experts in that field and the kinds of issues that can arise during the process.
Obtaining compensation can never make up for damage to your health. However, our clients have reported that pursuing a medical negligence claim has helped them move on with their lives. In a practical way, compensation can help you make the adjustments to your life that are necessary to allow you to live a full life with your injury. Most importantly, a medical negligence claim can allow you move forward in an emotional sense. A claim can allow you to achieve justice, to right the wrong and to obtain closure.
Hip replacements – further information
In 2011, the HSE reported that at least 4500 hip replacements are carried out each year in Ireland, usually on adults aged over 65. The HSE report that women are more likely to need a hip replacement than men.
Increasingly, hip replacements are a feature of sporting life. The Sports Surgery Clinic report that GAA insurance figures show 314 hip surgeries in 2014 compared to 80 in 2007- a rise of 392%. As part of a blog post, the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) published an article named ‘Growth of Hip Surgery in Ireland’ by Dr Eanna Falvey, Director of Sports & Exercise Medicine in SSC. It noted that hip and groin pain is the third biggest time-loss injury in field sports like GAA, rugby and soccer.
According to the HSE, the outlook for a hip replacement is generally considered to be good. It is a routine operation that offers an end to joint pain, increased mobility and a better quality of life. However, we have experience of when hip and joint replacements have led to lasting complications and have had significant negative effects on the lives of our clients.
“Thank you so much for your support in reaching this settlement. From my reluctant and emotional first day that I met with you in Newbridge 3 and a half years ago I knew I was in safe hands. I wasn’t wrong! Your guidance through the whole process has been a testament to your professional skills, expertise and unending knowledge. You left no stone unturned and had my trust throughout. You showed respect and empathy and for this we can’t thank you enough.
I don’t think I fully understood the role of the solicitor until now and I’m awe. I have no doubt you get a lot of joy out of advocating for others.
Thanks for everything you have done for us. It’s been life changing.”
E.N., Medical Negligence Client