If you’ve been following the news on hip replacement recalls and complications, you’ve probably read that women seem to have a higher percentage of such complications than men. And you may have been wondering why this may be the case.
There are several potential reasons for that, but none of them are an excuse for inferior devices. If anything, there’s reason for research to make these hip replacement implants safer for women.
Still, here are some of the potential reasons. Research is still in its beginnings as far as finding out exactly which of these factors are responsible for these dismaying statistics.
Women wait longer with having the surgery
Maybe it’s because some women are used to suffering to some extent, or whether it’s because they feel they are indispensible around the home (or at work), most women wait a lot longer than men until they go in to have hip replacement surgery.
And by the time they do, their hip joints may have deteriorated a lot further than those of comparable men. And with that, the potential of complications can increase. The bone structure may be weakened, and so the implant may end up coming loose more easily.
Women have a less dense bone structure
Women also tend to be smaller and have a bone structure that is less dense than that of men. In fact, many more women have osteoporosis than men as well. These factors can also contribute to potential complications, especially in the long run.
Women are smaller and have broader hips
Finally, there are additional differences between women and men. On average, women are smaller than men, both shorter in height and lower in weight. Yet their anatomy is constructed a bit differently – they have wider hips, at least comparatively speaking. And if they have given birth, maybe several times, their pelvic structure might have become looser.
All these factors can contribute to making a secure hip replacement more challenging. But it’s not destiny. In fact, while women have a significantly higher rate of complications than men, both after hip replacements in general, and especially after having received artificial hip joints that have eventually been recalled, many more women have hip replacements that turn out very successful.
So it’s not that women are at particular danger when they undergo hip surgery. If they have an excellent surgeon and receive an implant that has been proven to be safe, they can already increase their odds.
And if they make sure that they stay active in the years leading up to such surgery, they will ensure that their bones remain more dense. In addition, if they don’t wait until the very last moment before they choose the surgery, their odds may also be improved.
What To Do After Hip Replacement Recalls and Complications?
But what if it’s now after the fact, and you’re a woman who is suffering from serious complications. What if you have received a metal-on-metal hip implant that has been recalled?
First, you need to make sure you talk with your surgeon – and also get some legal advice. Having what’s euphemistically called “revision” surgery can involve a long and painful time of recuperation. You’ll need physical therapy, and help with getting around.
Mostly, those follow-up surgeries are more complicated than the first surgery. That’s bad news, especially since the first round wasn’t a walk in the park either.
Not only will there be additional pain, but also expenses, including loss of earnings and loss of enjoyment of life, at least for a considerable time frame.
And you might be able to be compensated. It won’t make up for it all, but it will help you cope more effectively when you don’t have to worry about money and can hire someone to help you with taking care of yourself and getting around.
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