Defective Hip Replacements – Lawsuits Filed
Artificial Hip Implants
Many lawsuits are being filed against the makers of metal-on-metal artificial hip implants. These suits are claiming that the implants fail prematurely or caused other medical problems. The medical community and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are looking at these devices closely. Some devices have already been recalled.
The hip forms a “ball and socket” formation between the femoral head (ball) and the acetabulum (socket). For many years, acetabular cups with polyethylene lining and ceramic or metal femoral heads were the materials of choice for a total hip replacement. Yet, over time, the liner becomes worn, especially in active individuals. When the liner begins to breakdown, revision surgery is required to replace it. Ceramic hip components have been introduced as an alternative, but introduce the risk of chipping or breaking.
Most recently, metal-on-metal total hip replacement has been the most popular surgical option. This has been especially common for young and active individuals who would like to return to an active lifestyle. Manufacturers have promoted metal-on-metal implants as having a longer lifespan than other options. Therefore, there is also a decreased likelihood of necessary surgical replacement.
Unfortunately, regardless of claims made by manufacturers, it now appears that metal-on-metal are failing and requiring early revision, more often than the other types of implants. Typically, the revision is needed because the patients are experiencing pain and recurrent dislocations.
Reasons for Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacement Failure
Other reasons for metal-on-metal hip failure aside from pain and recurrent dislocations include:
- Loosening – Aseptic loosening is one of the most common reasons for metal-on-metal failure. Usually the acetabular cup will become loose requiring revision surgery.
- Osteolysis – The metal on metal articular surface results in the release of metal ions into the body which can potentially cause bone loss, or osteolysis. This bone loss leads to the bone being unable to hold the device in place.
- Metallosis – The accumulation of metal ions or metal debris in the body is known as metallosis. This can cause pseudotumor (encapsulated metal stained fluid), tissue death and bone degradation. Additionally, these metal ions may cause damage to bones, muscles and/or tendons.
- Neurological problems – Unexplained symptoms may be a result of prolonged cobalt and chromium ions. Scientific research is being conducted regarding this matter. Some recipients of these implants are reporting headaches, persistent metallic taste in the mouth, memory issues, cardiac abnormalities and other problems. Whether these symptoms are related to the accumulation of metal ions in the body is still uncertain.
Contact an Experienced Attorney – Get a Free Case Evaluation
With almost four decades of experience, the law firm of Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C. is positioned to help those who have been harmed by these devices. Our law firm works with nationally recognized associated firms to reach major verdicts and settlements. Call our New York office at (631) 543-3663 to arrange a no cost, no obligation consultation to find out how an attorney can help you.