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Tests performed before hip replacement

Before you get hip replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon generally performs several tests to help ensure a good outcome, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fortunately, the success rates for hip replacement surgery are generally high, although they can vary based on the type of implant used.

For example, a number of studies have shown that nearly half of metal-on-metal hip implants – featuring both a ball and a socket coated in a mix of cobalt and chromium — break down and need replacement after only a few years. That model also has a tendency to shed slivers of toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.

A Los Angeles jury recently awarded $8.3 million in damages to a man who claimed he suffered metal poisoning from an artificial hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics division, which was recalled in 2010. That was the first of about 10,000 lawsuits over the hip implant to go to trial.

According to the Mayo Clinic, an orthopedic surgeon conducting an examination prior to the hip replacement will do the following:

  • Ask you about your medical history and current medications
  • Perform a brief general physical examination to make sure you’re healthy enough to undergo surgery
  • Examine your hip, paying particular attention to the range of motion in the joint and the strength of the surrounding muscles
  • Order blood tests, an X-ray and maybe an MRI

The doctor or surgeon may also recommend an exercise program in preparation for the surgery, if he or she believes muscle-building and flexibility program will help the outcome and recovery time following surgery.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you take advantage of the preoperative evaluation to bring up any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If your DePuy hip is causing pain or required revision surgery, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See more information on hip replacement here: