Some artificial hip replacements have been found to shed debris as they wear, causing permanent muscle and tissue damage and possible blood poisoning in patients.
One popular replacement hip made by the DePuy division of Johnson & Johnson has been recalled, but problems with the devices can take years to surface and many still persist today. Other types of hip replacements, including those made by Stryker Corp., have also caused serious injuries in patients and necessitated additional surgeries.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging product defects and a failure to adequately warn patients about the potential risks of artificial hip failure and metal poisoning.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe injury as a result of a hip replacement, you may want to contact a defective hip implant attorney. Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled doctors (See the Doctor/Lawyer Team), has the expertise and experience to litigate defective hip implant lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. (See our Major Victories)
Patients with defective hip implants may notice pain, swelling or bone, muscle or nerve damage. Some have also reported blood poisoning which may be caused from erosion of artificial hip joints and the subsequent release of metal ions into the body, leading to possible cognitive or cardiac damage.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has received thousands of reports of problems with metal-on-metal hip replacements and other types of replacement devices. Other reports have estimated the failure rate of the DePuy artificial hip at 12 percent (one in eight patients) within five years. Another report suggested a 29 percent failure rate after six years of use. Hips made of both metal and plastic are supposed to last much longer, generally 15 years or more.
Among DePuy hip devices that have proven troublesome are the Pinnacle and ASR models, in particular the Depuy ASR XL Ecetabular System total hip replacement and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.
The New York Times noted in an article that the all-metal (both metal ball and cup) implants shed debris as they wear, causing the body to release scavenger cells to neutralize the debris but also touching off a chain reaction than can destroy tissue and muscle. About 500,000 patients have received metal-on-metal hips over the last decade, but The Times suggested the number of patients suffering injuries will grow as “tissue destruction is occurring silently in some patients who have no obvious symptoms of pain.” Others have reported experiencing pain, rashes and inflammation.
Problems with artificial hips are not a new occurrence. Earlier, problems with Stryker Corp. implants led to a variety of ailments, including discomfort, pain and bone fractures, leading the company to recall some of its products in 2008.
The recall followed a letter by the FDA noting that its inspection of a Stryker plant in New Jersey found that the devices were “adulterated,” meaning facilities or controls for their manufacture, packing, storage or installation did not conform with federal regulations. The agency said it had received reports of improper seating of hip implants that resulted in broached and broken bones.
The attorneys at Kline & Specter represent people in defective hip implant lawsuits nationwide. Call us at 800-243-1100 for a free case evaluation.