As recently as 2010, it was estimated that as many as 1/3 of the 250,000 hip replacement surgeries performed each year in the U.S. involved the use of metal-on-metal hip replacements. It was believed that they would prove to be more durable than hip implants constructed of other materials. However, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allowed metal-on-metal hip replacements to come to market under its 510(k) approval process, which doesn’t require any human testing for medical devices that are shown to be “substantially equivalent” in design to a product already approved by the agency. Unfortunately, this type of FDA clearance means that any problems with a medical device aren’t usually detected until it has been used in hundreds, if not thousands, of patients.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Side Effects
Side effects may include:
- Blood test results that show high levels of metal ions in the blood
- Metallosis diagnosis
- Bone deterioration or loss
- Noise (popping, grinding, clicking or squeaking) from the hip joint
- A limp or change in walking ability
- Loosening or dislocation of the implant
- Tissue death
- Severe pain
- Swelling or inflammation at or near the hip joint
- Revision surgery required to remove a defective hip device
The problems associated with metal-on-metal hip replacement implants gathered widespread attention in August 2010, when DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, issued a metal-on-metal hip replacement recall for ASR hip implants. Since then, a number of studies have cast suspicion on all types of metal-on-metal hip replacements, prompting the FDA to conduct a wide-ranging review of their safety. In January 2013, the FDA warned that patients fitted with metal-on-metal hips were at risk for premature device failure due to metal ions that can be shed from the hips as a result of the friction created between the metal ball and cup. When these metal ions build up in the tissue surrounding the implant, recipients can develop an adverse local tissue reaction known as metallosis, causing pain, swelling, and loosening of the implant. This may lead to early hip implant failure and the need for revision surgery to remove and replace the device.
Wright & Schulte is currently representing injuried patients and reviewing claims for metal-on-metal hip replacements, including the following devices:
- DePuy® ASR
- DePuy® Pinnacle
- Stryker® ABG II
- Stryker® LFIT V40 Femoral Head
- Stryker® Rejuvenate
- Wright Medical Hip Replacements
- Zimmer® Durom Cup
Current Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Litigation
On April 5, 2017, the Juridsdictional Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order consolidating pretrial proceedings for LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Head in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Contact a Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Attorney
The attorneys of Wright & Schulte work every day to preserve the rights of personal injury victims, one case and one client at a time. If you or a loved one are suffering from any of the side effects listed above following a metal hip replacement surgery and you’re looking for a personal injury law firm that will guarantee the caring, personalized, and loyal representation you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact Wright & Schulte today. For a free, no obligation legal evaluation of your case, fill out the online form, or give Wright & Schulte a call, toll-free, at 1-800-399-0795.
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