A new study published in the journal of the American College of Rhuematology, or ACR, shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk for hip dislocation and infection following a hip replacement than those with osteoarthritis. This study could have implications for victims of faulty hip replacements such as those associated with DePuy hip appliances.
What Is The Difference Between RA and OA?
Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common form of arthritis and affects about 27 million Americans, while rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.3 million people. OA is caused by the breakdown of cartilage while RA is an inflammatory disease.
The Centers for Disease Control note that about 676,000 knee replacements and 327,000 hip replacements are performed every year for patients with both OA and RA. These operations are designed to give relief from pain and the disabilities that can be caused by degenerative joint diseases or injuries.
Study Shows Higher Risk for RA Patients
The study in question evaluated the results of 40 studies conducted between January of 1990 and December of 2011. It found that RA patients suffered a higher rate of hip dislocation following hip replacement surgery than patients with OA at a rate of about three to one. Further, RA patients had a higher rate of infection than OA patients. It is unclear if this difference is due to the nature of the two diseases, the type of appliances used, or other factors.
The study found no difference in rates of mortality, revision or blood clots in the two groups.
Hip Replacement Injuries Can Be Caused By Faulty Devices
The use of DePuy hip replacement devices has been linked to a much higher rate of failure than that of earlier types of appliances. Victims who have suffered from faulty hip replacements may suffer post-operative infections, muscle damage from slipped appliances, falls or other types of injuries and may require a second surgery to fix the problem. Second surgeries carry their own risks, including the risk of post-operative infection.
Those who have suffered from a faulty hip replacement device now have the option of joining a class action or multi-district litigation lawsuit that seeks damages from the manufacturer of these devices. Victims may be entitled to payment of excess medical bills stemming from the necessity for a second surgery, drug costs, loss of income and other expenses, as well as sums for pain and suffering and mental anguish.
The time to file a claim for damages in a class-action lawsuit is strictly set by the court. It is very important that victims who have been injured by these types of products file claims in a timely manner so that they do not miss deadlines set by the court. In most cases, victims find it useful to consult a hip replacement injury attorney who will handle their cases and ensure that they meet all filing deadlines for their claims.