Hip Replacement Lawyer

Hip replacements by a number of medical device companies have been determined to be defective. These defective devices have caused serious injury and harm to the people that had them implanted by their surgeons. If you are a hip replacement surgery patient and have been harmed due to a defective hip implant, you may have the right to file a hip recall lawsuit.

Metal on metal hip implant devices have been found to be extremely harmful to hip surgery patients. The devices not only fail but cause other complications, including adverse reactions to the tissues in the body. Many patients have been found to have metallosis, or metal in their bloodstream. Other complications include decreased mobility and hip pain, bone damage, and infections.

You should call a hip replacement lawyer if you have suffered adverse effects after replacement surgery. An attorney can help you demand justice.

Why Are Hip Implants Dangerous?

It has been found that many of the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems on the market have the fatal flaw of the component parts rubbing together once they are implanted. This results in metal flaking off the implant and entering the neighboring tissue, muscle, and bloodstream. This can then cause infection, swelling, an allergic reaction, and even pseudotumors. In turn, the replacement joint loosens, deteriorates, or breaks, and in the worst cases, the patient suffers from metallic blood poisoning. Implant deterioration can also lead to pain and difficulty walking. In more extreme cases, there can be neurological damages, renal function impairment, allergic reactions, and cardiomyopathy. To limit the negative side effects, patients end up having to endure revisionist surgery to replace or repair the implant.

There are many risks that can be associated with hip replacement devices, including the many possible injuries that can be caused by defective devices. One of the main risks include:

  • Blood clots – Clots are capable of forming in your leg veins after surgery. This can be particularly dangerous because they can break off and travel to your lung, or heart.
  • Infection – Infections can occur at the site of your incision and the deeper tissue near the hip. Most can be treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near the prosthesis may require surgery to remove and replace it.

Anyone who has experienced these or other serious effects from a hip replacement should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

FDA Warning

In June 2012, the FDA discussed the safety risks and effectiveness of metal-on-metal hip implants with patients, physicians, researchers, international regulatory agencies, professional societies, and manufacturers. Issues discussed included:

  • Failure rates and modes;
  • Metal ion testing;
  • Imaging methods;
  • Local and systemic complications;
  • Patient risk factors; and
  • Considerations for follow-up after surgery.

Hip Replacement Recalls

Recently, several manufacturers of artificial hip implants have recalled their devices due to serious complications reported from several patients who received hip replacement surgery.

Complications of hip implant surgery include metallosis, component loosening, avascular necrosis, and periprosthetic osteolysis, among other things. All of these side effects can lead to severe pain, and in many cases, patients require revision surgeries to correct the problems.

It is the responsibility of the device manufacturers to produce and sell safe products to the public. When devices fail and recalls are issues, patients who suffered have legal rights to seek compensation. If you or a loved one has experienced complications from hip implant surgery, you may be entitled to a settlement.
Currently, there are several manufacturers recalls of artificial hip devices. These recalls include:

  • Stryker Rejuvenate Modular
  • Stryker AGB II
  • Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System

There are also hip replacement devices that have not yet been recalled from the market. If you are experiencing complications from a hip implant that has not yet been recalled from the market, you still may have a claim against the manufacturer. Hip recall lawsuits seek fair compensation to patients who have been harmed or injured due to hip implant surgery. Compensation in these cases includes money for pain and suffering, medical bills incurred as a result of the complications, lost income, spousal damages, and punitive damages. Hip recall lawsuits often result in significant settlements.

Which Companies Manufacture Hip Replacement Devices?

Hip recall claims have been filed against these medical device companies:

An experienced attorney can help you file suit against any of these hip replacement manufacturers.

Complications Associated with Surgery

The most common complication patients face when recovering from hip replacement surgery is the loosening of the new joint in the socket. This is caused often by the thinning or deterioration of the bone surrounding the implant. The result is significant pain and an unstable implant.

Typically, such loosening only occurs 15 or more years after the surgery, but it has been found that metal-on-metal implants have a much higher rate of failure. The joint deteriorates faster and the implant fails at a higher rate – requiring surgery far earlier than the 15-year mark.

Because it takes several weeks for the soft tissue surrounding the joints to heal, there is a chance the hip joint can become dislocated. The larger the metal femoral head that is used during replacement, the larger the cut in the tissue. This means it will take longer for the tissue to heal and may result in a greater chance of dislocation.

Infection and sensitivity caused by wear and tear are two related and serious symptoms of metal-on-metal hip implants. The metal in the hip implants has been found to scrape or flake off and enter the bloodstream when the implant rubs against itself in the course of daily movements.

This wear and tear damages the implant and results in it failing at a much higher rate. Not only does this cause severe pain, but it may lead to infection and a serious condition called metallosis. When the nearby tissue or the blood is exposed to the metal flakes, you may experience extreme pain, swelling, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, headaches, skin rashes, feeling of burning, tingling, or numbness.

The end result is tissue death, bone deterioration, and implant failure.

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis is the deterioration or death of a bone due to a lack of blood. This condition is more commonly associated with hip resurfacing, however can occur from a hip replacement as well.

Avascular necrosis occurs when the femoral ball no longer receives sufficient blood from the metal cap implanted during surgery. Over time, the bone will collapse, rendering the joint unusable.

Sometimes, the implant will have to be replaced. Since the femoral ball is destroyed, full hip replacement revision surgery may be required.

Component Loosening

Hip implant component loosening occurs when the original implant loosens over time.

When these implants are installed, they are either press-fit into the bone, or cemented into a fixed position. Over time, these implants can loosen from normal use.

Patients can experience pain and loss of motion when this happens. Hip implant component loosening is a concern because hip revision surgery is costly and is generally not as successful as the original operation.

If not corrected, the implant can continue to loosen, which can lead to other more serious conditions such as metallosis, infection, and complete dislocation of the implant.

Metallosis

A dangerous medical condition associated with hip replacement surgery is metallosis.

Over time, metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants can grind together, shedding metal particles into the body. This causes metal poisoning, or metallosis, which is marked by symptoms including bone and tissue death, severe pain, and failure of the hip implant.

Most hip implants are made of cobalt and chromium, which are advertised to be very resistant to erosion. However, studies have indicated that some patients have experienced symptoms of metallosis as little as five years after receiving the implant.

Individual tolerances to cobalt and chromium levels vary, therefore symptoms do as well. These are some of the more common symptoms associated with metallosis:

  • Visual impairment
  • Auditory impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Nerve problems
  • Heart failure
  • Thyroid problems
  • Skin rashes
  • Infection
  • Loosening of the implant

Heart Failure

Heart failure does not mean that your heart has failed and stopped working. It simply means that your heart is not pumping blood as well as it should. Certain conditions such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure will eventually leave your heart too weak to pump blood efficiently.

When your heart is too weak to pump blood correctly it is unable to supply the cells with enough oxygen or blood. This results in fatigue and shortness of breath. Most everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or carrying groceries can become increasingly difficult.

Particle Debris

Most hip implants are composed of metal components that rub and grind together when the patient uses their legs.

The friction caused by the metal often produces debris that can be dangerous to the body. Depending on what the hip implant is composed of, different types of debris can be produced. Each type of material can lead to different complications.

Metal on metal (MoM) hip implants generally produced cobalt and titanium debris, which can lead to metal poisoning or metallosis. Another form of hip implant uses plastic components, which can generate polyethylene debris. This can lead to a condition known as osteolysis.

Periprosthetic Osteolysis

Periprosthetic osteolysis is a condition where bones around the implant break or fracture, causing the implant to fail.

Usually, these fractures occur because the bones around the implant have been weakened by osteoporosis, medications, or pressure from the implant itself. In many cases, revision surgeries are required to correct implants that have failed due to periprosthetic osteolysis.

Other Symptoms Of Hip Implant Complications

Signs and symptoms of an infected joint replacement include:

  • Increased pain or stiffness in a previously well-functioning joint
  • Swelling
  • Warmth and redness around the wound
  • Wound drainage
  • Fevers, chills, and night sweats
  • Fatigue

Call a Hip Replacement Attorney for Legal Counsel

The FDA has ordered a review of all metal-on-metal hip implants due to mounting patient complaints.

Problems with metal-on-metal include, but are not limited to loosening, metallosis (ie: tissue or bone death), fracturing, and/or corrosion and fretting of these devices, which require revision surgery. Many patients that require revision surgery due to these devices suffer significant post-revision complications.

We are investigating all cases involving metal-on-metal hip implants, including the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012; the Stryker LFIT Anatomic v40 Femoral Head (recalled August 29, 2016); the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Wright Conserve, and the Biomet M2A “38mm” and M2A-Magnum hip replacement systems, which have not been recalled.

Reported problems include pain, swelling and problems walking.

Hip Replacement lawsuits are filed against several different device manufactures, usually with help of an attorney. Lawsuit allegations include that these manufacturers:

  • Failed to warn the public of the risks of the hip replacement devices
  • Failed to properly test hip replacement devices for dangerous side-effects
  • Withheld research data from the public about hip replacement dangers
  • Sold hip replacement devices even though they knew it could be dangerous
  • Manufactured and sold an unsafe product

If you were harmed by a hip replacement surgery, our hip replacement lawyers can help you seek compensation.

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    Sources and References
    1. Hip Replacement Surgery: What Happens, Recovery, Pain and More. 
    2. Recovering From Hip Replacement Surgery.
    3. Total Hip Replacement. 
    4. NIH Senior Health: Hip Replacement.
    5. Mayo Clinic – What Can Cause Heart Failure
    6. American Heart Association – Heart Failure Symptoms
    7. American Heart Association – Risk Factors
    8. Mayo Clinic – Heart Failure Prevention
    9. American Heart Association – Drugs/Medicines
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