Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacements
Knowledgeable Florida Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Attorney Helps Patients Secure the Compensation They Deserve
Aggressively pursuing the companies responsible for dangerous and ineffective hip implants
The science of creating and implanting an artificial hip joint to replace joints damaged by arthritis or fracture dates back to 1891, when a German surgeon reportedly began implanting into patients a device made out of ivory. Since that time, doctors and medical device manufacturers have attempted to develop better and more durable hip replacement devices, creating prosthetics from materials ranging from plastic to glass.
In recent years, medical device manufacturers seeking to market a product intended for younger, more active hip replacement recipients, developed a metal-on-metal artificial joint, marketing it as being both safer and more durable than existing implants. However, an ever-growing body of evidence indicates that both claims (safety and durability) simply aren’t true. The failure mechanisms of these devices and the potential for significant injuries to patients implanted with them has led to both product recalls and recent warnings from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Geoffrey S. Schosheim is an experienced Florida hip replacement injury attorney at the Boca Raton law office of GS Law PA. We urge anyone who has received a metal-on-metal hip implant in recent years to promptly consult their doctor to determine whether their implant has been subject to recall or has adversely affected them.
What are the problems and side effects caused by metal-on-metal hip replacement devices?
Hip replacement devices essentially replicate the hip joint, consisting of three components, the stem the ball and the socket. The ball at the end of the stem fits into the socket, much as with an actual hip; design of the device anticipates that the surfaces of both components are going to rub against one another when the device recipient stands or walks.
No artificial hip is designed to last forever, and while some can last as long as twenty years or longer, overall durability is an issue for all patients, particularly younger recipients. A worn-out implant can only be treated by surgery – called revision surgery – to replace the prosthetic with a new device. These revision surgeries tend to be more complicated and less successful than the initial surgery.
Although manufacturers have marketed their metal-on-metal hip devices as being safer, more durable, and with a longer lifespan than other implants containing different material components, metal-on-metal hip implants have been shown to cause several profound side effects. These side effects result from the tiny shards of shredded metal that wear away from the implant with use over time and become introduced into the blood, tissue and bone surrounding the hip, causing serious health problems.
- Recipients with metal sensitivity are prone to additional side effects when metal is introduced into the system including systemic adverse reaction
- In some patients, the metal causes the surrounding tissue and bone to prematurely die. Such dead tissue cannot be replaced. In addition, cysts or pseudotumors can form.
- Foreign debris such as metal can trigger an immunological reaction in which the body attempts to “fight” the debris, but which can also weaken bone. As the implant is designed to be attached to the bone, any bone deterioration can result in a loosening of the component and failure of the implant
These problems, acting in concert, increase the likelihood that recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants are likely to suffer severe joint pain, to have mobility problems with walking and standing, and to require early revision surgery to correct the complications—exactly the problems that the original hip replacement was often intended to solve.
Which devices have been shown to cause these injuries?
Manufacturers currently under scrutiny include:
- Stryker – After issuing warnings about its Rejuvenate and its ABG II products, Stryker recalled both devices in 2012.
- DePuy – A division of Johnson & Johnson, DePuy recalled both its ASR Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System in 2010. Efforts have been made for them to recall their Pinnacle hip replacement system as well, as that device has been shown to adversely affect patients and fail at an early and alarming rate.
- Zimmer—In 2008, Zimmer recalled its Durom Cup implant, but has since resumed selling the device.
- Smith & Nephew – An estimated 3,000-4,000 patients in the United States received implants of Smith & Nephew’s R3 Acetabular System, which was recalled in 2012.
- Biomet – While Biomet has yet to recall the M2a devices it manufactures, a large number of lawsuits from injured recipients have been filed across the country.
- Wright Medical Technology, Inc. – Nearly 10,000 Conserve Plus and Profemur Z products manufactured by Wright have been implanted into patients since 2003 and, although neither product has yet been recalled, Wright has settled lawsuits from injured recipients.
Hip implant recipients not currently experiencing problems with these and other metal-on-metal hip implant devices are nonetheless urged to consult with their doctor to determine whether their implant is showing any signs of corrosion, loosening or other failure.
Contact a knowledgeable Florida metal-on-metal hip implant attorney today
Many of these manufacturers are facing class-action lawsuits from people injured by their products—in fact, some of these lawsuits have been settled, and many Florida residents and nationwide victims of these device failures may be unaware that they qualify for damages under these settlements. Our skilled metal-on-metal hip implant attorney, Geoffrey S. Schosheim, at GS Law PA, actively monitors all court activity and medical findings relating to all metal-on-metal implant devices and manufacturers, and is ready to help you today. Please contact our Boca Raton office at (561) 706-5503 or online for a free initial consultation.
Contact Us Today!
Geoffrey S. Schosheim, Esq.
4800 N. Federal Highway, Suite B-304 Boca Raton, FL 33431