SIL hip replacement keeps 'popping out'

soozJune 11, 2009

My SIL had a hip replacement about a year ago. Since then, her hip has "popped out" FOUR times, and of course, she ends up in emergency every time, and they try to put it back in place--but much pain accompanies this, and afterwards too.

Has anyone had this happen? Is there any way to "fix" it so her hip doesn't keep dislocating??? She has been affected greatly by the economy and has no job and limited insurance, so I'm kinda wondering if there is a fix that insurance coverage would cover IF she had better insurance or ???

Thanks in advance!


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The first thing I would do is make sure the hip prosthesis is not defective or something wrong with the surgical procedure. See the original surgeon for an evaluation and if he claims there is no problem, ask for a second opinion.

Make sure your sil followed all the post operative instructions regarding exercise, etc. and cannot be held accountable for anything that could have gone wrong. No matter the outcome at this point, be sure and get the manufacturing specs for the hip and do research to make sure there have been no other complaints for that model.

The only one I know that had a problem post surgery for hip replacement was a coworker and after doing all the above it was determined he did not do the post operative exercises as much or as long as he should have. His problem cleared up when he began his exercise program again. I have, however heard of instances where the hip was defective and recalled for replacement. I would definitely be po'd if that happened to me. Going through that surgery twice would not be a fun thing.

If the original parts and surgery are to blame in any way then the cost to correct it should be minimal to your sil but I wouldn't doubt that some negotiation will have to take place.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Sooz, those components being displaced and being displaced more than once means somethings wrong. Who has been treating - the emergency room doctors or do they call a orthopedist for her. The surgeon who originally placed the hip should certainly know or be addressing it.

Dislocating an artificial hip isn't all that common unless someone is going way outside the prescribed range of motion during the initial healing process (10 weeks post surgery approx)...but you'd (patient) have to be doing something reckless or experience a fall to even dislocate it then.

The muscles and ligaments should support it once fully healed (again, if not engaging in reckless behaviors like downhill skiing, off trail hiking, singles tennis) - if it displaces more than once it would normally be surgically revised. Period.

I don't know what to say about the insurance but she's certainly within her rights to have a functioning hip one year after surgery, I'd be wondering if it was a poor fit, poor surgery...either would be the responsibility of the surgeon, proper sizing is his job.

There are surgeons who specialize in revising previous replacements that are failing...I don't know where she is but I know of two in that category in the Seattle area and I would imagine most major city surgical centers would have them. A primary care doctor she trusts could do that research for her; as another starting point - it would be a name a good well established physical therapist could likely provide too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:15PM
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Thank you both for your thoughtful comments. I will share them with my SIL.

Your input is much appreciated!!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:55PM
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i am a bi-lateral hippy, my hips are 9 years old this year. i have not had a single problem. i walk miles, ride horses, even did some dog sledding since my surgeries. i would definitely say she should go back to her surgeon if she hasn't already and if she can't get him to take this seriously, because it IS serious, she should go for a second opinion.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:09AM
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