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Longer lasting hip and knee replacements can’t guarantee a better duty of care warns Assistant Litigation Executive

25th February 2019

An Assistant Litigation Executive at Fletchers Solicitors believes longer-lasting hip and knee replacements can’t guarantee a reduction in revision surgery or a better duty of care.

Commenting in response to the news eight out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements could last as long as 25 years, Jennifer Smith from Fletchers Solicitors warns despite the breakthrough a duty of care must remain. 

Jennifer said:

“This is potentially good news for patients who may elect to undergo earlier surgery to treat conditions such as arthritis.

“The advice provided during the consenting procedure will enable the patient to make a more informed choice regarding earlier elective surgery over continuing conservative treatment to manage pain.”

The University of Bristol carried out the research and reviewed 25 years’ worth of operations involving more than 500,000 people.

Their research revealed that hip and knee replacements last longer than initially believed and the findings will assist future surgeons and patients to decide when to carry out surgery.

Jennifer Smith of Fletchers Solicitors is aware that a better quality of hip and knee replacements doesn’t guarantee a better quality of care for patients.

Jennifer continued:

“It will also mean that there could be less need for earlier surgery. 

“Such procedures are more complicated each time revision surgery is carried out due to a need to replace any lost bone and scar tissue in the muscle.”

Despite the new research presenting more choices for patients, Jennifer is also aware that the above does not necessarily mean there will be a reduction in revision surgery, or indeed claims brought by patients in relation to their hip or knee replacement.

“There is still possibility for the surgery to be performed without reasonable care and skill resulting in ongoing pain, suffering and the need for further revision surgery.

“In any event, the hip and knee replacement procedures will still carry risks including hip dislocation, loosening of the hip joint, nerve damage, infection and need for further revision surgery.

“Therefore, notwithstanding the longer lasting implants, patients will still need to carefully consider options and risks before undergoing such a procedure.”

Jennifer referenced, Complications of revision surgery: Explained by Manoj Sood, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Arthritis Research UK.



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