Many of those who suffer from hip pain or a reduced range of motion, whether due to an injury, arthritis, or another cause, are often forced to undergo hip replacement surgery. This type of surgery involves the removal and replacement of the hip joint with an artificial joint made of metal, ceramic, or hard plastic.
These surgeries are not without risk, but many patients are surprised after their rehabilitation has been completed, to discover that they now have uneven leg lengths. While this type of problem could be the natural result of arthritis or a problem with the spine, it could also be indicative of negligence on the part of the surgeon.
If you believe that your own hip replacement surgery wasn’t done properly and are suffering uneven leg length as a result, you should reach out to an experienced Rockford medical malpractice lawyer for help seeking compensation for your losses.
What Does Hip Surgery Involve?
Hip replacement surgery is performed as a treatment for a number of different conditions, but can most often be linked to arthritis in the hip joint. This surgery involves the opening of the hip joint, the removal of the ball and socket, the re-shaping of the socket, and the replacement of the head of the femur with an artificial implant that is usually made of plastic or metal.
To ensure that newly implanted ball and socket joints are stable and won’t later dislocate, surgeons typically adjust the tension between the ball and the socket by placing longer implants in the femur. Unfortunately, this can result in uneven leg lengths for the patient.
Leg Length Discrepancies
To prevent this kind of leg length discrepancy, surgeons are encouraged to take template x-rays of a patient’s hip with overlay schematics of the hip prosthesis. This can help surgeons determine the exact size of the implant that will be needed at the time of surgery. It will also tell them how much bone should be removed.
In addition to this precautionary step, many surgeons are now also using computer-guided systems to confirm the position and size of the implants. Unfortunately, some surgeons fail to take these precautions, thereby causing patients to suffer from significantly unequal leg lengths after surgery. This can cause increased pain and muscle fatigue, as well as numbness in the affected limb.
Often, those who suffer from leg length discrepancies require further surgical intervention to resize the implants or remove additional bone, which can be both expensive and painful. Fortunately, patients who can prove that their surgeon’s negligence led to the bone length discrepancy, are often able to recover compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. Doing so, however, often requires the assistance of a number of experts and a seasoned legal team.
Speak with Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers
For an assessment of your own potential uneven leg length claim, please call 815-962-0044 and a member of our legal team will help you set up a free consultation with our experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Rockford Illinois at Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today.