Hip Replacement Implant Failures – What You Need To Know

On behalf of Lynnette Simon Marshall Esq.

Since the invention of the metal-on-metal replacement hip, it is estimated that 1,000,000 of these devices have been implanted in the United States alone. While the names Stryker and Depuy may be household words as a result of highly advertised recalls of these products, there are actually over 20 different medical device manufacturers responsible for these products. Additionally, modular stem/neck implants are estimated to represent another 500,000 implants which have been performed just in the United States.

While these hip implants were originally marketed as highly innovative improvements from their predecessors, one piece stem and metal-on-poly models, the complications associated with these alternative designs have proven extremely problematic. Corrosion of the modular junctions, crevice and fretting, as well as modular femoral neck fractures and metal wear debris generation are resulting in both mechanical failures of the hip implants and localized tissue destruction.

Early on in the development of these metal-on-metal implants, a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic voiced serious concerns over the design and warned about the debris from the metal-on-metal wear being toxic. Despite these warnings and the use of dissimilar metals in the new hip implant designs, no clinical testing was performed prior to these products being placed on the market.

In recent years these fears have come to fruition as more and more people experience complications with their metal-on-metal and/or modular hip implants. Common side effects include stiffness, reduced range of motion, swelling and pain. While serious side effects include infection, dislocation, metallosis (metal debris accumulation in the soft tissues of the body), osteonecrosis (bone death), ossification (formation of bone from cartilage) and device failure. Serious hip implant side effects may require corrective surgery.

Individuals with metal-on-metal implants have been shown to be at increased risk for cobalt poisoning which can often present itself with cardiac or neurologic symptoms. Ask your doctor about developing an individualized plan for symptom monitoring. While decisions regarding revision surgeries should be made only in consultation with trained medical professionals, it is important to hire legal counsel before your hip implant is removed and replaced to preserve evidence and protect your legal right to compensation.

Please call or email Warner Law Offices for a free consultation if you would like a legal evaluation of your specific case.


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