Metal Hip Litigation
METAL-ON-METAL HIP LITIGATION
Hip replacement surgery is a procedure wherein an artificial ball is implanted on the end of the femur (thigh bone) to connect it to the socket in the pelvis.
Over 300,000 people received total hip replacement surgery in 2009, according to data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Hip replacement surgery is intended to improve the quality of the patient’s life by treating problems such as arthritis, pain and loss of mobility.
In recent years, however, there have been several recalls of these devices.
Some hip replacement patients have experienced problems such as:
- Loosening of the implant
- Implant dislocation
- Sensitivity in the implant region
- Bone fractures
Additionally, some hip replacements, such as the DePuy ASR Acetabular system and Stryker Rejuvenate hip system, have been recalled because of concerns over the frequency of failures and revision surgeries.
WHAT IS A HIP REPLACEMENT REVISION SURGERY?
A hip replacement revision surgery is an additional surgery performed to correct problems that have developed since the implant was installed. Revision surgery must be performed because the artificial hip has worn out and needs to be replaced to correct any of the problems related to a faulty implant.
Hip replacement revision surgery exposes the patient to more of the dangers related to hip surgery, such as:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Heart attacks
- Blood clots
Additional surgeries increase the chances the patient will experience one of these issues. A faulty hip replacement implant not only endangers the patient with another round of surgery, but also causes additional stress, pain and discomfort.
METAL-ON-METAL HIP REPLACEMENTS
Hip replacement implants can be made of a variety of materials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that there are some issues which are unique to metal-on-metal hip implants. In June 2012, the FDA held a conference to discuss the adverse effects linked to these devices and to evaluate their safety.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been linked to a tendency for pieces of metal to be worn off the device. This metal may cause damage to nearby bones and tissue. According to the FDA, these metal particles may even enter the bloodstream and cause problems in a patient’s heart, nerves and thyroid gland.
The FDA recommends that anyone who undergoes a metal-on-metal hip replacement surgery be on the lookout for symptoms which may indicate a problem with their implant. These symptoms include:
- Pseudo tumor
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- change in vision or hearing
- feeling cold
- weight gain
- change in urination habits
Patients who have any of these symptoms after a hip replacement surgery may be experiencing a reaction to the metal of the implant or an increase in the amount of metal in the bloodstream.
HIP REPLACEMENT RECALLS
Since 2008 there have been several recalls of metal-on-metal hip implant systems:
The DePuy ASR Acetabular Hip Replacement System: This hip replacement was recalled in 2010 in response to data provided by a British joint registry which found a higher than expected instance of hip revision surgery.
Zimmer Durom Acetabular Component: The Durom Hip replacement was voluntarily recalled by Zimmer in 2008 because of inadequate surgical instructions.
Smith & Nephew R3 Metal-on-Metal system: The British medical device company of Smith & Nephew issued a voluntary withdrawal of their metal-on-metal hip replacement system in June 2012.
Smith & Nephew Modular SMF and Modular Redapt Femoral System Recall:
The British medical device company Smith & Nephew launched its Modular SMF Hip System in 2008 and its Modular Redapt Femoral System in 2012. On November 15, 2016, the company recalled both hip implant systems because of higher than anticipated adverse events and complaints. It sent out an Urgent Field Safety Notice warning doctors to monitor patients for high levels of metal ions in the blood. Metal debris could cause adverse tissue reactions that may require revision surgery.
The affected devices shipped October 2008 to July 2016.
Stryker Rejuvenate: Although not a metal-on-metal hip system like the others, the Stryker Rejuvenate contains metal-on-metal components which are believed to contribute to reports of increased levels of metal in the blood. It has also been linked to a high early failure rate, which forces patients to undergo revision surgery. Stryker issued a voluntary recall of this device in July 2012.
Other Problematic Hip Devices and Manufacturers
Despite the recalls, some all-metal hip devices remain on the market. Many of these implants have been linked to injuries, making additional recalls possible. Other metal hip manufactures that have been linked to patient injury include:
- Encore (DJO)
HIP REPLACEMENT LAWYERS
David Di Pietro & Associates is investigating the claims of injury associated with faulty hip replacement implants.
If you or a loved one have been injured because of a faulty hip replacement, or have had hip replacement revision surgery to correct a faulty implant, then call our lawyers to schedule a free consultation. It’s important to note that a hip replacement does not need to have been recalled to be the subject of a lawsuit.