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Should I Be Concerned if My Hip Replacement Squeaks?

Posted on August 3, 2011   Source: Rottenstein Law Group

As if being implanted with a defective hip replacement wasn’t enough to worry about, many recipients have to contend with a squeaking or creaking noise coming from their artificial joint as they go about their daily routines.

Why Does My Hip Replacement Squeak?

The embarrassing squeaking noise is prevalent in patients who received ceramic-on-ceramic artificial hips. Based on findings, the squeaky culprit is the ceramic liner found on the devices. According to Herrick J. Siegel, M.D., a doctor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Joint Replacement, who has treated patients with squeaky ceramic artificial hips, the devices “had a lot of promise when we first started using the material, and many surgeons have gone away from it a little bit because of this possible risk of squeaking. Ceramic’s rigidity made the material initially so attractive, but the unforgiving surface may just be too difficult for the body to lubricate.”  The lack of lubrication is the consensus among researchers as the cause of the squeaking.

Can It Be Fixed?

Dr. Siegel has treated some patients by removing the ceramic liner and replacing it with a plastic one. Unfortunately, this solution requires a painful revision surgery to modify the implant, and is the only way to remedy the problem.

Blame the Golfer

During a television interview, golfer Jack Nicklaus revealed that he had undergone him replacement surgery and that his artificial joint squeaked. In 1999, Nicklaus was one of the first recipients of Stryker Corp.’s ceramic-on-ceramic artificial hips and was a spokesperson for the company at the time. Researchers and industry executives credit Nicklaus with bringing the problem to the forefront, and have since recommended against the use of the Stryker “Trident” ceramic-on-ceramic hip implant, due to the squeaking possibly being an indication of “concerning and unintended wear”.

In May 2008, the New York Times published an article about everyday Americans going about their business, contending with their squeaky hips. It turns out Jack Nicklaus has a lot of company.

Don’t Ignore the Squeak. Talk to Your Doctor

In 2008, Stryker recalled some of its hip replacement implants due to problems with manufacturing issues overseas, but there are thousands of people still living with squeaky ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacements. If you are having mobility issues, are experiencing pain, swelling or other symptoms associated with hip replacement failure, speak to your doctor. If you feel fine, but can no longer put up with the annoying squeaking, your only option is to have a revision surgery to replace the defective implant.

The Rottenstein Law Group’s hip replacement lawyers have over 25 years of experience advocating for clients in consumer products injury cases. If you feel you have been injured by a defective hip replacement, you may have grounds to file a hip replacement lawsuit and receive compensation. Just fill out our convenient contact form, and one of our lawyers will be in touch.

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