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The hips are an incredibly important component in the body as they allow for a range of movement and stability. But, some individuals lose proper function in their hips due to certain types of arthritis or lack of blood supply. Conditions that damage the hip joint can place people in an immense amount of pain and stress. Sometimes the hip pain is so tremendous that medication does not help, it disrupts sleep patterns, affects the ability to walk, and makes it difficult to even stand up. In these cases, many people choose to undergo hip replacement surgery to replace the damaged hip joint. Patients can receive different types of hip implants, but a previously popular iteration was the metal-on-metal implant. Countless metal-on-metal recipients developed severe health complications because of the metal components. Reach out to us today to learn more about how a metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuit can benefit you.
Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of patients who have undergone metal-on-metal hip replacement surgeries. Lawsuits allege that metal-on-metal implants may cause a complication known as metallosis, which is a form of metal poisoning that occurs when metal components emit microscopic particles throughout the body.
Hip replacement is a popular surgery for people who have experienced joint damage or fractures. Surgeons perform over 1 million total hip and total knee replacement procedures in the United States annually. In hip replacement surgery, there are varying implants such as metal-on-polyethylene (plastic), ceramic-on-polyethylene, or metal-on-metal. The latter option is exactly as it sounds, two metal surfaces make up the hip joint. A metal-on-metal consists of a metal “ball” that replaces the ball at the top of the thigh bone and a metal “cup” that serves as the socket in the pelvis.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements were introduced in the 1990s and proved very popular through the early 2000s. However, reports of complications linked to these hip implants quickly surfaced. Although results vary based on the age and type of implant, generally, a hip replacement should last anywhere between ten and twenty years. Yet, metal-on-metal patients experienced high failure rates and required revision surgery in just five years. Even though manufacturers designed these implants to be more durable, metal-on-metal hip replacements actually have a very short lifespan compared to other hip implants. Experts attribute the high failure rates to friction that wears down the implant and produces particles that cause inflammation. Eventually, the bone erodes and results in the implant loosening.
In 2016, given the overwhelming amount of failure rates, the FDA required metal-on-metal hip implant manufacturers to file for premarket approval rather than premarket notification. Premarket approval is the FDA’s most strict regulatory oversight before sending medical devices to the market. This approval mandates that manufacturers show the FDA that the device is safe and effective through scientific evidence. Currently, there are no FDA-approved metal-on-metal hip replacements available in the United States.
Several manufacturers have recalled metal-on-metal hip implants over the last decade. The first implant recalled was the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System in 2010. The FDA received hundreds of complaints since 2008 from patients who reported adverse symptoms within the first five years of receiving the ASR implant. Approximately 13% of patients with the ASR hip implant underwent revision surgery to remove the implant. Other recent major recalls include Smith & Nephew’s R3 Metal Liners of the R3 Acetabular System and Zimmer Durom’s Acetabular Component.
Metal-on-metal hip replacement devices can loosen and cause multiple adverse health effects including:
Metallosis occurs when metal components rub against each other when the patient moves their leg. The movement produces friction that causes small particles of cobalt and chromium ions to enter the bloodstream. This may lead to metal poisoning, which can damage nerves, bones, and muscles in the hip area. The metals emitted into the bloodstream may also damage other organs including the brain, heart, and kidneys. Metallosis and the other conditions listed may require the patient to undergo revision surgery, a costly and painful process.
Many hip implant manufacturers have already settled thousands of lawsuits related to injuries from metal-on-metal hip replacements. Countless manufacturers have come under fire for allegedly introducing defective and hazardous metal-on-metal hip implants. Most of these lawsuits have been consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in several districts. These manufacturers include DePuy (a division of Johnson & Johnson), Smith & Nephew, Stryker, and Zimmer Biomet.
In 2018, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle thousands of claims for over $400 million to compensate victims for defective artificial hips.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries after receiving a metal-on-metal hip replacement, you may qualify for compensation for any or all of the following:
Metal-on-metal hip replacements have a failure rate six times higher than metal-on-plastic implants. Furthermore, nearly 1.5 million people worldwide received these dangerous implants before the FDA’s premarket approval intervention. Numerous recipients required revision surgery to replace the faulty metal-on-metal implants that slowly poisoned their blood with metal particles and resulted in further health complications. Unfortunately, revision surgery is costly and less successful than the original hip replacement. The bone loss brought on by the wear of the metal-on-metal implant makes it harder for surgeons to properly secure future implants. Lawsuits accuse manufacturers of marketing defective implants and neglecting to warn patients about the risks associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements.
We understand that having to resort to revision surgery is a frustrating and frightening decision. Patients sought relief from hip pain, but instead, metal-on-metal hip replacements allegedly exacerbated the health of many individuals. Speak with one of our trusted lawyers today to find out how to begin your potential metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuit.
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139 or submit an inquiry on this page.