After years of pain in your shoulder from arthritis, you and your doctor might have made the decision to proceed with a shoulder replacement surgery. This can give you greater ability to move your shoulder around and eliminate the constant pain you might be experiencing. However, in rare instances, some people have complications like the following that require further procedures and in some cases, lawsuits.
Because one of the components used to "replace" your shoulder is in many cases a metal ball screwed into your body, it's possible that your body will have an allergic reaction to it. That's why, before the replacement happens, you'll have to answer a list of questions about any metal allergies that have existed in the past. Even if you don't suspect that your body will have any kind of reaction, having one will necessitate removal of the metal device and you'll have to discuss with your doctors what to do next. Signs of allergy might include:
- Itching in the shoulder area
- Excessive Fatigue
Most people tolerate the new ball and plastic socket well. For a few patients, however, bacteria gets out of control and an infection occurs. If this happens, you will be in a great deal of pain and are likely to be administered an antibiotic implant after the replacement is removed. You'll be monitored to see if the infection starts to fade and then decisions can be made about inserting a new replacement.
For some people, the parts themselves just don't work the way they're intended. The ball may slip out of the plastic socket holding it in place, for instance. The socket can get loose and have to be tightened. This would look and feel as if the shoulder is dislocated; if this occurs you're likely to need some x-rays and ultimately a surgery to either replace parts or secure them better.
In some cases, the parts are known to be problematic; you may later learn that there is a recall for certain parts that should never have been used on you and others. If that happens, you may have grounds for a shoulder recall lawsuit.
The surgeon you've chosen to replace your shoulder should be one that has done these surgeries many times and can easily recognize and address complications if you start to have them. Even with experience, though, it's possible for surgeons to do something wrong. For example, if the surgeon fails to insert the parts properly or doesn't follow surgical procedure, they could cause or exacerbate complications that you experience. In such cases, legal action might be worth pursuing.
The issues here can be brought up with your surgeon and primary care doctor so you can all determine how best to avoid trouble; you might, for instance, about any recalls for the devices that will be used on you. If something does indeed go wrong, a good lawyer should provide clarity regarding your future actions.