Defective Hip Implant Claim
Written by Faith Anderson on September 24, 2012
Side Effects of Metal-on-Metal Implants
The Birmingham hip implant manufactured by Smith & Nephew became the first metal-on-metal hip implant approved in the United States, with other manufacturers introducing similar models soon after. Unfortunately, many of these all-metal hip replacement systems have since been linked to an increased risk of premature failure and serious complications requiring revision surgery. Metal-on-metal hip implants are a type of artificial hip device that utilize cobalt and chromium femoral heads and a metal acetabular cap. Over the past ten years, the design has become more and more popular amid aggressive marketing that suggested the all-metal components were stronger and more durable than traditional hip replacement systems. However, in recent years, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants, as they have been found to loosen and fail prematurely, and have been linked to a rare type of metal blood poisoning called metallosis.
FDA Warnings Regarding Metallosis and Other Complications
Metal poisoning in regards to metal-on-metal hip implants occurs when high levels of chromium and cobalt are released into the body, caused by the metal parts of the device rubbing against one another during normal use. These elevated metal blood levels have been linked to a number of complications and health concerns, including nerve damage, soft tissue damage, tumors, and a risk of the implant loosening within only a few years of surgery. In response to these potential side effects, the FDA reviewed the risk of blood poisoning from all-metal hip implants in June 2012, concluding that the agency saw little, if any, benefit from using the replacement systems. The FDA panel recommended that anyone who has received a metal-on-metal hip implant device undergo imaging once a year to ensure that the implant is in the proper position, and anyone experiencing pain or discomfort obtain a blood test to look for signs of metallosis.
Defective Hip Implant Lawyers for Side Effect Claims
National attention was brought to the abnormally high failure rates for all-metal hip implants in August 2010, when DePuy Orthopaedics issued a recall of its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The recall came after the company revealed that one out of eight of its ASR implants failed within five years of surgery, often resulting in the need for revision surgery to remove or replace the defective device. Since that time, thousands of patients affected by faulty hip implants have filed lawsuits against DePuy for its ASR replacement system, and similar claims have been filed regarding the DePuy Pinnacle hip, the Biomet M2A-Magnum implant, and the Wright Conserve hip. William Reilly’s lawsuit in particular accuses Smith & Nephew of negligence, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, false representation, and strict product liability, and his wife is suing for loss of consortium. If you have been adversely affected by a faulty hip replacement device, contact a qualified defective hip implant lawyer to discuss your legal options.