About Metal on Metal Hip Implant Lawsuit

Many have suffered complications such as dislocation, infection and metallosis.

Hip replacement surgery (hip arthroplasty) has become commonplace in the last few decades helping many patients with arthritis and fractures regain their mobility. No longer only used to treat senior citizens, hip implants are being considered for younger patients as well thanks in part to the advances in design and procedures.

Risks Of Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants

Unfortunately, some of these designs intended to adhere to the more active lifestyle have increased the risk of severe complications primarily due to the stronger materials such as metal that are used.

Metal-On-Metal or MOM hip implants while seemingly an improvement due to its strength and ability to more closely resemble the natural movement of the hip, has become risky to the patient and as a result, some MOM systems have been recalled. Complications associated with MOM hip replacement systems include loosening, infection of the surrounding tissues and metal poisoning or metallosis.

Metallosis can occur in hip patients who have an implant where the metal surfaces of the femoral head and socket begin to rub against each other releasing metal ions. Of particular concern is the release of cobalt ions into the bloodstream and tissues of the patient. This can lead to loosening of the implant, pain, rash and metal toxicity.

Symptoms Of Possible Metal-On-Metal Hip Implant Failure

According to the FDA, symptoms of MOM implant failure may include:

  • Hip/groin Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Infection
  • Loosening
  • Bone Loss
  • Fracture
  • Joint Dislocation

In addition, if the implant has released metal splinters the patient might experience a serious reaction such as:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Neurological Changes
  • Psychological Changes
  • Renal Failure
  • Thyroid Dysfunction

Obviously anyone that experiences difficulty with their hip replacement may face additional medical care including hospitalization and in some cases, revision surgery.

The FDA And Hip Recalls

The metal-on-metal hip replacements were cleared by the FDA through a process called 510(k) which does not demand that the manufacturer has to submit the product through clinical studies. This least rigorous process is allowed when the FDA considers a new product to be similar to another already approved. The FDA considered that the components of the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems to be like the other systems which used non-metallic parts such as ceramic. As a result, the FDA cleared metal-on-metal hip replacement systems onto the US market without the need for rigorous clinical trials.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) along with BBC Newsnight has published results from an investigation on metal-on-metal hip replacements. These implants may have exposed thousands of patients to toxic compounds due to their chromium-cobalt alloy. The grinding of the metal parts of the hip replacement systems may create metal debris and release toxic ions in the bloodstream. This can lead to damage to the surrounding tissue, muscles and bones in the hip area. There is some concern that the metal poisoning might also raise the risk of developing cancer or altering the patient’s own DNA.

The report stated that the manufacturers of the metal-on- metal hip implants, including Zimmer hip replacement systems and DePuy’s ASR and Pinnacle systems had known about the risks. However, according to the BMJ, “… patients have been kept in the dark about their participation in what has effectively been a large, uncontrolled experiment.”

DePuy Recall Info

DePuy has been cited as knowingly selling defective hip implants after a larger than expected number of patients required additional surgery to remove or repair their replacements.

ASR Hip Implants Recalled

The DePuy ASR hip implant was recalled in 2010 after more than 12 percent of the devices failed within five years. 93,000 ASR hips worldwide, including 37,000 in the U.S., were included in the recall. The failed implants caused severe pain, joint dislocations, infections, and bone fractures. In many cases these complications led to revision surgery and months of rehabilitation.

Zimmer Recall Info

On July 24, 2008, Zimmer Holdings issued a Zimmer Hip Replacement recall. Their metal-on-metal Total Zimmer hip replacement system with Zimmer Durom Cup hip socket was the first to be recalled.

Those patients affected by the Zimmer hip replacement recall had been victims of an unusually high early failure rate and many suffered through a second revision surgery. The metal- on-metal hip replacement systems can cause severe hip pain due to the loosening of the implants and metal poisoning due to the increased metal ion concentrations.

Stryker Recall Info

Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Stems

Stryker is facing lawsuits because of problems caused by the metal-on- metal design of its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular- neck hip stems.

Unlike one-piece, fixed femoral components, these models have two-part, mix-and-match necks and stems, both of which are made of metal. Metal-on-metal pieces can corrode and deteriorate which adds the concern of metal leaching into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream. This leads to metallosis, which can cause serious complications such as tissue death, pseudotumors, and bone loss.

Zimmer and Stryker have stated that they are expecting millions in legal costs as a result of the lawsuits being filed against their MoM implants.

On October 24, 2013 Stryker announced that the cost of the hip implant recalls could cost more than $1 billion.

How To File Your Legal Hip Implant Injury Claim

If you have had hip replacement surgery and have suffered with pain, bone fractures, wear particles or broken fragments, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit.

For the hip replacement patient diagnosed with metal poisoning or other implant failure, it may be determined that the only treatment available is revision surgery (where the surfaces of the implants are surgically repaired) or replacement surgery (when the hip components are removed and replaced by new devices). Unfortunately, revision or replacement surgery can be riskier and more complex than first time hip replacement surgery.

If you or a loved one have had a Metal-On-Metal hip replacement and were diagnosed later with implant failure, metallosis, or serious injury which may require additional surgery you may have the right to claim compensation from the manufacturer.

All you need to do to begin your case is to call us at 713-850-8600 or fill out the convenient form on this page. If it is determined that you qualify, we will work hard to get you the financial compensation you deserve. But there may be a time limit to file your claim so please call or fill out the form now.