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Hip replacement patients endure uneven legs

Illinois readers may be interested in issues that can be caused by hip replacement surgeries. One of the more common problems following a full hip replacement is one leg being longer than the other. This can make walking difficult and uncomfortable.

For the more than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries performed annually, uneven leg lengths is a preventable side effect that remains a major problem; it accounts for five percent of all surgical errors. One doctor says that the best that a patient can do to help ensure even leg lengths following such a surgery is to check out the qualifications and experience of the surgeon who is expected to be performing the procedure. Following the discovery of a leg length issue, it is best to have it corrected immediately before the hip and leg heal.

Uneven legs may cause a patient to spend the rest of his or her life in pain and with reduced mobility. Some may even seek clever coping tricks in order to live with a problem that did not need occur.

If a surgical error during a patient's hip replacement results in his or her legs being unequal in length, it may be the result of negligence on the part of the surgeon or other medical service providers. An attorney may be able to review the medical training, surgical history and methods of the surgeon to determine if he or she acted reasonably during the surgery and was up-to-date on the latest medical and technical methods for preventing unacceptable results. Experts on the subject of full hip replacements may provide input during the review of the surgeon's methods.

Source: WLS-TV, "Correcting uneven limbs after hip replacement", January 25, 2014

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