Solicitor and Managing Partner
Though hip replacements are more common among older people, it has become commonplace for people as early as their 40s to have their first procedure. Most artificial hips have a lifespan of 15-20 years, and then 10-15 years for each replacement thereafter.
As is the case with any surgical procedure, there is some inherent risk – and this risk increases based on the age of the patient and the number of revision surgeries performed. Most hip surgeries are performed with a good level of care and attention, causing no ill effects to patients in the short or long-term.
But, sadly, this is not always the case. If a surgeon selects the wrong size component or hip implant, or damages the peripheral nerves or blood vessels in the affected area, this can have serious ramifications for a patient’s health, mobility, finances, lifestyle and more.
In the majority of cases, a hip replacement or hip surgery will be required for one of two reasons:
Gradual damage to the hip caused by wear and tear, disease or a congenital condition
A traumatic hip injury, such as a car accident, heavy fall or sporting collision
Wear and tear is often the most common cause of issues with joints, which is why over 90% of hip replacement surgeries are performed on people aged 50 or older.
However, there are other potential causes that can affect people at any age. For example, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a condition where the hip’s “ball and socket” joint of babies and young children does not form properly. If not diagnosed within the first six months of a child’s life, surgery may be necessary to correct the issue.
Other problems that can lead to hip pain and problems include:
Avascular necrosis (crumbling of the bone due to lack of blood supply)
A possible alternative to a total hip replacement is hip resurfacing, which is not suitable for everyone.
As noted earlier, there is a limit to the number of times someone can undergo a hip replacement and achieve a desired outcome. Furthermore, the risk to the patient increases with each subsequent procedure – any mistake can have long-term consequences on how effective and long-lasting the replacement is.
Often, hip surgery negligence will involve the wrong size or type of prosthesis being used, or the prosthesis being fitted incorrectly. If the artificial component is not positioned correctly or securely, it can gradually become loose and unstable, even if the surgery initially appears to have been successful.
Over time this can cause significant pain and discomfort, and affect both the affected person’s range of movement and stability. In severe cases, tissue damage may be caused if loose components break free and shatter, which could cause infection and permanent mobility problems even after corrective surgery.
It is also important that the surgeon ensures that there is not too much of a difference between the length of each leg following surgery. If there is then this could lead to significant problems with mobility, gait and pain.
Other issues that can negatively affect the outcome of a hip replacement surgery include:
Poor pre-operative assessment and monitoring
Nerve damage caused during surgery
Damage to tissues, cartilage, ligaments or veins
Failure to address bleeding following the operation
Infection to an open wound or transferred from a prosthetic
Substandard follow-up care
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of one or more of the above, we are here to help you secure compensation for the surgical errors you have endured.
Nobody expects to experience more pain after hip surgery than they had prior to it. Likewise, someone would reasonably expect their mobility to be maintained or improved, and not compromised due to their operation.
Unfortunately, if hip surgery is performed negligently, the impact on someone’s range of movement, function and wellbeing can make it much harder, or even impossible, to go about life as they did before. Anything from getting out of bed to walking from one room of the house to another can be made far more painful and difficult.
While these injuries are not usually life-threatening, they can have long-term repercussions.
Should your hip surgery not have gone as expected, it can have substantial repercussions on you physically, emotionally and financially.
At Gadsby Wicks, we never underestimate how the injuries you sustained have affected your life. We devote the time and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your clinical negligence claim, to secure the financial support you need to ease the struggles you and your loved ones now face.
As qualified and specialised medical negligence solicitors with over 20 years experience, we are experts at handling hip surgery claim cases.
Our credentials and established reputation mean that hospitals and trusts are willing to work with us, and often recommend us, to seek fair outcomes for claimants to receive the compensation they deserve.
Trust us with your compensation claim and contact us today to see how we can help you.
As part of our investigations, we speak to an impartial, independent orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip surgeries. This professional expertise helps us to determine:
Whether your surgeon or another healthcare professional breached their duty of care towards you
Whether your surgeon’s actions or inactions directly caused the pain and suffering you experienced
How your circumstances have changed, and what support you need moving forward
This insight plays an essential role in establishing that your injuries were the result of negligence, and quantifying the value of compensation you deserve.
In addition, we will also assess all available evidence associated with your claim, including:
Compensation cannot take you back to before your hip replacement surgery. But, it can give you and your family the financial support you need to get you back to the position you were in prior to your injuries. Or, where this is not possible, help make your future as comfortable and secure as possible.
Compensation in a medical negligence claim is split into two parts:
General damages – covers the costs of any pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) that you endured due to a healthcare professional’s negligence.
Special damages and future losses and expenses – covers the financial impact of negligence in your specific circumstances, taking into account factors such as age, economic status, long-term care requirements and dependents.
The compensation you receive following a successful hip surgery claim can pay towards numerous requirements, including (but not limited to):
Loss of earnings
Adaptations to the home or vehicles
Aids and equipment, such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters
The salaries of care assistants
Future procedures and corrective surgeries
Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and other ongoing therapies
Psychological treatments and therapies
As experienced solicitors, we work hard to ensure that every orthopaedic surgery compensation claim we pursue achieves a successful outcome for our clients.
It is impossible to accurately predict how long a hip surgery claim will take to settle at the outset. Each case is unique and the time to resolution can be affected by a variety of factors, including:
Whether the defendants admit to negligence immediately or not
How long it takes to receive feedback from medical experts
However, in our experience the majority of claims will reach their final outcome in 2-5 years.
In most cases, a hip surgery claim must be made within 3 years of the injury being realised. However, there are exceptions to this rule:
Children making a claim have until their 21st birthday
There is no time limit for anyone who is mentally incapacitated
If the claimant passes away within the 3-year window, the 3 years start again from their date of death
Furthermore, the Court does have discretion to allow a claim to be brought out of time. Get in touch with us and we can discuss your specific circumstances.
The consequences of a negligent hip surgery can range from the need for additional procedures and longer recovery time, to robbing someone of their mobility and independence.
However you or your loved one has been affected, at Gadsby Wicks our specialist legal advice and comprehensive approach ensure that you receive the compensation and answers you deserve, so you can move on from what happened to you with total reassurance.
We can undertake your claim on a no win, no fee basis
We assign one solicitor to guide you through the claims process from start to finish
96% of our cases settle without going to court
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
We were the first firm in England to have two or more lawyers accredited as clinical negligence specialists by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one have experienced hip surgery or hip replacement negligence and would like to speak to someone about your options, our team is here to listen and advise you on your next steps.