The joints in your body are amazing things. They allow you to move with fluid motion, bend, reach, walk, and more, and for most people, the only pain associated with their joints is minor aching from time to time. Unfortunately, some people find themselves experiencing a great deal of pain in their joints due to illness and disease, and some even have their joints fail altogether.
Causes of Joint Problems
One of the most common causes of joint discomfort is arthritis, which is an inflaming of the joint tissue. When arthritis occurs, it generally gets worse with time, and it can cause joints to be stiff and painful. While arthritis is generally a manageable condition for most people, it can sometimes become rheumatoid arthritis, and when this occurs, the associated inflammation can spread to surrounding tissue. If this inflammation becomes too painful or damaging, the joint may need to be replaced.
Understanding Joint Replacement
Joint replacement is the process of removing the original joint and replacing it with a prosthetic one. While joint replacement is available for a variety of joints, the most common joints that people have replaced are in the hips and knees. The reason for this is that these two joint areas often receive the most wear due to their locations in the body. Joint replacement is a surgical operation that may require a lengthy recovery period as the body adapts to the new joint or joints, and in most cases, prosthetic joints go on to last people for the rest of their lives.
Joint Replacement Failure
Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for joint replacement, and not all prosthetic joints function as they’re supposed to. In cases of joint replacement failure, serious complications, including death, can result. Some people who have a failed prosthetic joint may also develop a severe infection, and in extreme cases, amputation of the limb where the affected joint resides may be necessary.
Signs of Joint Replacement Failure
One of the first signs of a failing joint replacement is pain. Often, a failing replacement joint will lead to inflammation and bone loss, and sadly, by the time a person actually feels pain from their replacement joint, the problem may already be beyond repair. Another sign of joint replacement failure may be strange sounds coming from the joint, including clicking or rubbing. Modern replacement joints are made from various materials, and if these materials are not seated together correctly, they may cause noise upon movement.
If You’re Affected
If you’ve been injured by a replacement joint that has failed, it’s important for you to know that you may be due compensation. While most doctors and surgeons who deal with joint replacement therapies are trained and attentive, some are not, and this can lead to complications. In addition, because prosthetic joints are not always perfect, a manufacturing defect may have led to your injury. In recent years joint manufacturers have recognized defects in their produces and issued recall notices for those affected, a high profile example of this was the recent Stryker hip replacement recall. In any case, it’s important for you to speak with a personal injury attorney at once if you’ve been injured by joint replacement failure.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that you and your doctor need to have a monitoring plan in place to ensure that your prosthetic joints are healing and functioning correctly. If you feel uncomfortable at any time after receiving a joint replacement, make sure you call your doctor at once to consult with him or her about what you’re feeling.