Issue: Defective artificial hip implants
How Many People Received All-Metal Hip Implants?
Over 500,000 patients in the United Stated were implanted with artificial “metal-on-metal” hip implants, also known as all-metal hips, during hip replacement surgery.
Why Did So Many People Get Metal Hip Replacements?
Device manufacturers claimed the metal hip implants — including ball-and-socket components made from metals like cobalt and chromium — were more durable and provided a greater range of motion than earlier-generation artificial implants that used a combination of ceramics, plastic, and metal. The marketing claims about greater durability have proved to be false. Contact us.
What Are The Symptoms of a Replacement Hip Failure?
Patients who have received all-metal implants should be aware of the symptoms which may indicate that their device is not functioning properly. Common symptoms include:
- Regular and prolonged pain in the groin, hip, or leg;
- Swelling at or near the hip joint; or
- A limp or a change in walking ability;
Why Do Metal Hip Replacements Failing?
The key problem with metal hip implants is that friction created by the normal movement of the device causes the release of microscopic shavings and metal debris into surrounding tissue and blood. This can lead to a condition called metallosis, the build-up of metal debris in the soft tissues of the body, which is characterized by painful inflammatory reactions in body tissue and a high blood-metal count.
What Are The Specific Complications Patients Whose Hip Implants Failed Have Suffered?
Tens of thousands of patients who received metal hip implants have suffered crippling tissue and muscle damage, debilitating pain after hip replacement surgery, and the premature failure of their hip replacement implants. As a result, these hip replacement patients have had to undergo additional, painful, and costly operations (known as revision surgery) to remove the faulty metal implants and insert new devices.
What Has The Federal Government Done to Address The Widespread Damage Caused By Defective Metal Hip Implants?
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that there are “unique risks” for metal-on-metal artificial hips. The FDA ordered all manufacturers of metal-on-metal artificial hips to undertake studies of these implants and determine how frequently the devices were failing.
In response to the FDA directive some manufacturers took their products off the market. In other cases, the manufacturers issued recalls.
What Are Some of the Metal Hip Implants That Were Recalled or Taken Off the Market?
The DePuy ASR and certain DePuy Pinnacle, Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II, Wright Profemur-Z hip system, and the Zimmer Durom Cup are all-metal implants or contain metal components which come in contact with each other, leading to friction that releases metallic particles. Some of these metal hip implants were eventually recalled, taken off the market, or had their sales suspended by the manufacturer.
Have There Been Settlements of Hip Replacement Recall Lawsuits?
Yes, many hip replacement recall lawsuits have been settled. After patients nationwide filed lawsuits and their attorneys prosecuted the cases, including the injury attorneys at Lieff Cabraser, several hip implant manufacturers agreed to settle the outstanding cases — lawsuits against DePuy for its faulty ASR hip implant and against Stryker for its recalled Rejuvenate and AGB II implants. The settlements provide significant compensation — in some cases in the billions of dollars in total — to injured patients.
My Hip Still Works. How Likely Is It That It Will Fail?
This is a question only your physician can answer with precision. We recommend you consult with your physician. You may wish to take a blood test to determine if certain metals from your implant are present in your bloodstream.
The British Orthopaedic Association, a professional medical group, reported that one model of all-metal hip — made by DePuy, a unit of Johnson & Johnson — was projected to fail in 50% of the patients who received it within six years of their original hip replacement surgery.
My Hip Implant Has Failed and Was Replaced or Needs to Be Replaced. Am I Eligible For Payment Under One of the Settlements?
The answer may be yes, but you need to know the facts of your situatio, and will need to know the manufacturer of the implant you received to determine if it's part of the Multiple Hip Implant Litigations that are pending across the United States in Federal and State courts.
Since a Settlement Has Been Announced in The Lawsuits Involving The Metal Hip I Received, Do I Need a Hip Replacement Recall Attorney to Assist Me?
An attorney can be critical to properly evaluating your claims and if you can be a part of one of the pendings legal actions or future cases as well as well as determining the time by which you must file a lawsuit in order to preserve your claim under the relevant statute of limitations. This is true even when a global settlement of the litigation has been announced. Global settlements, including those in the hip recall cases, often provide a base award which is subject to adjustments both upward and downward.
In some instances, a manufacturer may offer a program, separate and apart from litigation, that covers certain out-of-pocket expenses associated with the relevant injuries, such as the Broadspire program in the hip recall litigation. These programs generally do not, however, offer compensation for the pain and suffering associated with injuries, often the largest component of damages. .