The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the rate of hip replacement surgery has increased to 257 per 100,000 population. The Xarelto website states that this anti-coagulant medication has been proven to reduce the risk of blood clots after knee or hip replacement surgery. However, orthopaedic surgeons have reported a higher incidence of complications after hip and knee replacement surgery when Xarelto is used, rather than other blood-thinning medications.
Xarelto has been linked to a long list of serious and life-threatening side effects, including wound complications after surgery. If you have been injured by Xarelto, it is in your best interests to consult with a knowledgeable pharmaceutical litigation attorney as soon as possible. Our dedicated Xarelto wound leakage attorneys at Farah & Farah are committed to holding drug manufacturers accountable and tenaciously pursuing full and fair compensation for the injured people we represent.
Risks of Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery
Any major surgery carries certain risks. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates the rate at which patients admitted for elective knee or hip replacement surgery suffer certain complications within a specific time period:
- Heart attack, pneumonia, sepsis (infection), septicemia (dangerous infection of the blood), and shock, within 7 days of admission;
- Surgical site bleeding, pulmonary embolism, or death, within 30 days of admission; and
- Mechanical complications, joint infection, and wound infection, within 90 days of admission.
Hip or knee replacement surgery may be absolutely necessary in certain situations, despite the risk of complications. Anti-coagulant medications are prescribed to patients undergoing this type of surgery to help prevent the life-threatening complication of pulmonary embolism. It can be tragic, indeed, when a blood-thinning medication taken to help reduce the risks of hip and knee replacement leads to serious wound complications and additional surgery.
Studies Show Higher Wound Complication Rate with Xarelto
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) published an article about a significant increase in wound complications in knee and hip replacement surgery when rivaroxaban (Xarelto) was prescribed to patients in place of tinzaparin to prevent blood clots and pulmonary embolism. When physicians noted the increase in wound complications and went back to using tinzaparin instead of Xarelto, the return-to-surgery rate decreased.
The study of wound complications with Xarelto vs. tinzaparin included 1,558 patients who had joint replacement surgery in the same hospital over a 19-month period:
- In the first study group of 489 patients who were given tinzaparin, 9 patients (1.8%) had wound complications requiring a return to surgery within 30 days.
- The next group of 559 patients was given rivaroxaban (Xarelto), and 22 of those patients had wound complications requiring a return to surgery, at 3.97% — a significant increase. Concerns arose over the safety of using Xarelto in cases of large, fresh wounds, and the surgery department of the hospital elected to go back to using tinzaparin instead.
- The final study group of 510 patients was given tinzaparin, with a wound complication rate requiring return to surgery of 1.6% (8 patients) – a significant decrease.
As stated in this publication, all aspects of care were standardized, from the time the patient was admitted to the hospital until discharge, including antibiotics, compression stockings, lack of wound drains, and early mobilizing. Indications for return to surgery — clinical suspicion of wound infection or hematoma (localized swelling filled with blood caused by a break in a blood vessel) and increased inflammatory markers — did not change during the study period.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) also published a study on the effects of Xarelto on wound healing after elective knee replacement surgery. This study included 30 patients ages 18 to 55. Of these patients, 27% were given rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and the remaining patients were given dalteparin. The incidence of prolonged wound secretion and healing delay in the Xarelto group was 25%, as compared to 4.5% in the dalteparin group. Researchers concluded that the use of Xarelto in knee replacement surgery could be connected to a higher incidence of prolonged wound discharge and slower healing.
Xarelto Wound Leakage Lawyers Investigating Cases Nationwide
Patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery do not need complications of prolonged wound discharge and slow healing caused by their blood-thinning medication, let alone a second surgery to remedy the problem. If you have suffered this type of injury with Xarelto, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for your losses. Our knowledgeable Xarelto lawyers at Farah & Farah are happy to provide a comprehensive case consultation, free of change. Call us at (800) 533-3555 to find out if you have a Xarelto claim.