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Variations in Hip, Knee Replacement Complications: Study

A study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery has found that certain hospitals experience 4x higher rates of problems compared to others.

New research indicates a wide difference in complications following hip and knee replacement surgery, depending on what hospital the procedure takes place. A study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery has found that certain hospitals experience 4x higher rates of problems compared to others. The scores for different facilities will be added to the Medicare Hospital Compare Database, which allows patients requiring a knee or hip implant to compare the complication rates of hospitals side by side.

Free Hip Replacement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured after hip replacement surgery, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the hip implant and we can help.

What’s the Problem?

The study, which was performed by a research team at Yale’s School of Medicine, did not find disparities in outcomes based on whether the facility treated more Medicaid or minority patients; however, there was a wide quality variation in the outcomes at different hospitals.

“We found a four-fold difference in risk-adjusted complication rates across hospitals, suggesting some hospitals have substantial room for improvement when it comes to these surgeries,” said Dr. Elizabeth Drye, author of the study. “Hip and knee replacements are high-volume, costly, and beneficial procedures, and we hope our work will improve how well patients recover after having these surgeries.”

The research involved a cross-sectional analysis of Medicare Fee-for-Service data that included more than 878,000 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. All of the test subjects were aged 65 or older who had either total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty surgery. The operations were performed from 2008 to 2010 at 3,479 different medical facilities.

The study identified an overall complication rate of 3.6%. Pneumonia, pulmonary embolism (PE) and infections were the most commonly reported complications, respectively. Complication rates for individual facilities ranged from less than 2% to as high as 9%.

DePuy Hip Recall

A number of problems with prosthetic knee and hip replacements have occurred over the past several years, raising concerns about the risk of complications linked to specific designs or hospitals. In August of 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics issued a nationwide recall for its ASR Hip Replacement Device, raising concerns about the risk of premature failure from metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants. To date, over 12,000 DePuy Hip Lawsuits have been filed around the country, resulting in the manufacturer agreeing to pay out at least $2.4 billion to settle the claims.

Stryker Hip Recall

Many believe the only reason American patients and doctors became aware of problems with DePuy Hip Implants was because of the European and Australian joint replacement registries. There were no such registries in the U.S. at the time, but an American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR) was launched in late 2010.

Then in July of 2012, Stryker Corporation announced a recall of its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip systems, after they were found to fret, corrode and fail. Although metal-on-metal hip implants are designed to last 15 to 20 years, this recall came just 2 years after the models were introduced.

Do I Have a Hip Replacement Lawsuit?

The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Hip Replacement Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Hip Implant Complications cases in all 50 states.

Free Hip Replacement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured after hip replacement surgery, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Hip Replacement Suit and we can help.

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