Hip Replacement Implant Lawsuit

Warning: Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants may come with a number of dangerous risks, such as spontaneous dislocation, loss of mobility and even damage to the nervous system and thyroid gland. The lawyers at Baron & Budd are currently investigating hip replacement lawsuits regarding the potentially serious health problems associated with certain metal-on-metal hip implants, including hip implants manufactured by Wright Medical, DePuy Orthopedics, Smith and Nephew, Stryker, Biomet and Zimmer.

If you know that your hip implant is metal-on-metal, we encourage you to call one of our hip replacement lawyers at 866-394-5079 or click the button below to get started online.

What Can I Do If My Implant is Hurting Me?

Most patients were told what kind of hip implant device they were receiving before their surgery, but few remember. If you are having any complications with your hip implant, we encourage you to speak to your surgeon to learn what type of implant device you received. While having the manufacturer and brand name of your device is helpful, determining if the device was metal-on-metal or used a combination of plastics, ceramics and metal is also important.

If you have had revision surgery for pain or other complications and know that a metal-on-metal hip implant was used, we can help you with your next steps. Fighting back against the manufacturers of defective devices could help you pay for your past and future medical expenses and compensate you for suffering you have endured.

Consulting with Baron & Budd is always completely free and confidential. We also try to make the process as easy for you as possible. To contact one of our Baron & Budd metal-on-metal implant lawyers, please call us at 866-394-5079 or get started online.

Metal Hip Implant Risks

  • Hip impingement syndrome (stiffness and loss of hip’s full range of motion)
  • Instability of the implant
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Spontaneous dislocation
  • Loss of mobility
  • Damage to tissue or calcification of tissue
  • Damage to bone such as fractures or avascular necrosis (bone death)
  • Pseudotumors
  • Severe pain in the hip joint or groin area
  • Severe inflammation
  • Infections
  • Ions or metal particulates in the blood
  • Metallosis, i.e., metal poisoning
  • Problems relating to ions or metal in bloodstream such as: kidney or thyroid issues
  • Damage to nervous system

The manufacturers of hip implants include Wright Medical, Johnson & Johnsons DePuy Orthopaedics, Smith and Nephew, Stryker, Biomet and Zimmer.

Patients are typically told which type of implant they are receiving before the surgery — however; it is very easy to forget. We encourage you to contact our hip replacement lawyers at 866-394-5079 or get started online to learn more about how a hip replacement lawsuit could help you.
How Does a Hip Replacement Work?

Your hip joints are one of your body’s largest and most vital ball-and-socket joints, which is why successful hip replacement surgery is so vital to one’s quality of life. The socket part is made up of a portion of the large pelvic bone called the “acetabulum.” The ball part is composed of the uppermost part of the thighbone, called the “femoral head.” When a person walks, runs or moves with their legs, the femoral head moves within the acetabulum in the same way a ball-and-socket joint moves.

Partial and total hip replacement implants are intended to mirror the way a natural hip works. In a natural hip joint there is a lining of cartilage between the acetabulum and femoral head that provides a cushion between the bones, preventing the rubbing of the bones and stopping joint damage. In partial or full metal-on-metal hip implants there is a liner that is designed to help the ball of the implant move easily within the socket; however, this often does not provide enough protection to prevent the rubbing of the two metallic pieces. In fact, it is the rubbing together of these two pieces that causes many of the complications associated with hip replacement.

Complications can derive not only from the rubbing of the metal pieces, but from the actual design of the hip implant as well. Other complications that can result from the design of the hip are loss of mobility, instability within the joint, spontaneous dislocation of the hip and many more serious side effects. Hip implants can offer pain relief and renewed freedom to the patients who receive them, but when companies fail to warn of the increased risks of implanting a certain type of implant, like the metal-on-metal hip implant, the consequences can be serious and at times debilitating. If you are suffering any adverse symptoms after hip replacement surgery, talk to your doctor and contact our firm.

Are There Different Types of Hip Replacements?

There are three types of hip replacement procedures: total hip replacement, hip resurfacing and partial hip replacement.

  • Total Hip Replacement: Replaces the entire hip with an artificial hip joint. Typically uses cement to secure the artificial hip joint into place.
  • Hip Resurfacing: Replaces the “socket” and, instead, resurfaces the “ball” instead of replacing it. Hip resurfacing is often performed to help arthritis or to address bone loss and potentially delay the need for a total replacement in younger patients.
  • Partial Hip Replacement: Typically replaces the femoral head (the “ball” of the hip) but leaves the acetabulum (the “socket”) intact. Sometimes it is used for the reverse: to replace the “socket” and leave the “ball” intact. Partial hip replacements are often performed to address a hip fracture at the femoral head or “ball” of the hip joint.

Reminder: “ball” = femoral head and “socket” = acetabulum.

What About Types of Hip Implants? Are They All the Same?

Hip implants vary regarding size, components and materials used. While hip implants can be made of materials ranging from ceramic, plastic (or “polyethylene”), metal or a combination of these materials, it is the metal-on-metal hip implants that may cause the most problems.

Metal-on-metal implants are very durable and are often used for younger, more active patients as they are meant to last for a longer period of time before a replacement is needed. Compared to other materials, implants made exclusively of metal were thought to be better able to withstand more wear and tear.

However, it is alleged that these implants may have serious design flaws that have led to early failure rates. In fact, while traditional hip replacements made of a combination of materials like plastic and metal tend to last up to 15 years before wearing out, metal-on-metal implants are failing at an alarmingly high rate, requiring a corrective surgery or completely new implant. Because of this, metal hip replacement lawsuits have increased tremendously across the country as patients implanted with these dangerously flawed prostheses suffer hip failure and other serious complications.

What Are the Risks Involved With Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants?

Metal-on-metal hip implants have specific risks in addition to the risks involved with all hip implants. For instance, metal-on-metal implants may cause:

  • Sliding of the metal ball and socket (or “cup”) against each other while the patient is walking or running.
  • Wear or corrosion between parts of the implant
  • Small metal particles of the implant wearing off into surrounding space around the implant. Cobalt and chromium, i.e., “metal ions,” entering the bloodstream from either the metal implant itself or from the loosened metal particles

Metal-on-metal implants may cause additional side effects. Typically, these side effects are not directly caused by the main side effects listed above. These “secondary side effects” may include:

  • Hip impingement syndrome (stiffness and loss of hip’s full rang of motion)
  • Instability of the implant, loose implant or spontaneous dislocation
  • Loss of mobility
  • Damage to tissue or calcification of tissue
  • Damage to bone such as fractures or avascular necrosis (bone death)
  • Pseudotumors
  • Severe inflammation
  • Severe pain in the hip joint or groin area
  • Infections
  • Damage to nervous system
  • Ions or metal in the blood
  • Elevated cobalt and chromium levels
  • Problems relating to ions or metal in bloodstream such as: kidney, thyroid

In addition, patients suffering from metal-on-metal implants may opt for procedure known as a “revision surgery,” where surgeons will either attempt to correct a problem with the existing implant or the will completely remove the metal-on-metal hip and replace it with a non-metal hip replacement device that causes less problems. Revision surgeries come with their own risks and complications, including increased medical expenses.

If Metal-On-Metal Hips Are So Dangerous, How Were They Ever Approved?

Unfortunately, metal-on-metal implants were placed on the market through a fast-tracked approval process called the 510(k) program. This program allows a newly developed product an easier path to approval when the manufacturer can prove that that new product is the “substantial equivalent” to a product already on the market. If manufactures are successful in proving that it is similar, the new device is more easily approved for use and sale.

Metal-on-metal implants were one of those products. Once it obtained FDA approval and reached the market, it quickly became a popular choice for surgeons.

What is the FDA Doing About Metal Hip Implants?

The FDA ordered 21 manufacturers of metal-on-metal hips to perform post-market studies in 2011. In 2012, the FDA found that there is very little reason to continue using metal-on-metal implants because the risk for failure was just too high.

While it is unlikely that metal-on-metal implants will be implanted in patients today, there are still countless patients who are suffering from complication associated with their metal hip implants.

For these patients, the FDA has issued warnings including a comprehensive guide for patients with metal hip prostheses that fully covers the problems associated with these dangerous implants. The FDA quotes in part:

“…metal particles from a metal-on-metal implants may cause a reaction around the joint, leading to deterioration of the tissue around the joint, loosening of the implant and failure of the device. Metal ions from a metal-on-metal implant will enter the bloodstream.”

In 2013, the FDA issued an FDA Safety Communication stating that, “Metal-on-metal hip implants have unique risks in addition to the general risks of all hip implants.”

Please Say There Has Been a RECALL!

Because of the severe risks associated with metal-on-metal implants, several manufacturers of metal hip replacement implants have issued recalls in recent years including:

  • DePuy Orthopaedics
  • Stryker Orthopaedics
  • Zimmer Holdings
  • Wright Medical Technology Inc.

If you recognize these names, that’s because these are some of the world’s largest hip implant manufacturers. Because of early failure rates and other complications related to all-metal hip devices, many of these manufacturers have had to recall some of their most popular products. Smaller companies like Smith & Nephew and Biomet and Wright are also recalling their defective implants.

We know what you’re thinking — if only they had tested metal-on-metal implants first!

By not testing their implants before selling and marketing them heavily, the world’s hip implant companies put profits before their customer’s health.

Am I Eligible to File a Metal Hip Lawsuit or Get a Settlement from the Manufacturers?

Our attorneys would love the opportunity to review your case in pursuit of justice for you and your family. Contact Baron & Budd now to see if you qualify to file a claim for compensation.