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Hip Replacements

Hip Replacements

Baby boomers and younger patients who receive hip replacements expected their implants to last decades. Hip replacement surgery is a very common procedure and can make a huge difference in the quality of life for someone suffering from chronic hip pain. Unfortunately, many brands of the hip implants are failing earlier than expected and some are failing after shortly after the procedure due to defective design. 

Why are Some Metal on Metal Hip Replacements failing?

For metal on metal hip replacements, the metal ball, and the metal cup rub together when walking or running, and this causes friction. This friction between the metal surfaces causes microscopic pieces of metal debris to flake off and enter the body and bloodstream. These metal particles can damage bone, nerves, and muscles around the hip implant, causing the hip implant to fail. Some of the injuries caused by the metal on metal hip implants are often catastrophic to the patients.

Typical symptoms of a failed metal on metal hip replacements are:

  • Abnormal blood results with high level of metal ion in blood also known as metallosis
  • Skin Rashes
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hearing loss,
  • Vision loss,
  • Mental impairment,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Problems with the thyroid

The FDA indicated there is “currently not enough evidence to support the routine need for checking metal ion levels in the blood if patients with metal hip implants have none of the signs or symptoms described.” However, numerous patients had blood tests demonstrating high metal ions levels in their bloodstream, making a revision hip replacement surgery necessary. Orthopedic surgeons recommend that their patients with metal on metal hip implants get blood tests for metal ion levels every 3 months for as long as they have the metal on the metal hip implant, even if the patient does not have symptoms in order to confirm if abnormal metal ions are not present in the bloodstream.

What May Be Wrong with the Stryker Hip Replacement Devices?

On Aug. 29, 2016, Stryker announced a voluntary recall of femoral heads made before 2011. The company sent an “Urgent Medical Device Recall Notification” letter to surgeons that implanted patients with the device. Stryker informed surgeons that they received an increasing number of complaints surrounding the Stryker LFIT V40 and that the device may cause hip replacement failure.

Howmedica Osteonics, a subsidiary of Stryker, sold 20,000 Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems throughout the United States. 
The Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II products are “modular” hip stems. A hip stem is a slender metal rod that is implanted into a person’s femur bone as part of a Total Hip Replacement surgery (THR).  A regular, “non-modular” stem is made of one continuous piece, which curves inwards towards the hip socket at the top, or the neck, of the stem. Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II products are different and have a rarely used “modular” design. That means the stem and neck connect as two separate components instead of one continuous piece.

Due to various reasons, and possible defects in the design of the modular neck, this type of hip replacement device it is prone to the following defects:

  • Corrosion
  • Wear
  • The release of titanium, cobalt, and chromium debris into the patient’s body
  • Inflammation
  • Pseudo tumor formation
  • The release of metallic particles in the body that have caused extensive damage to bone, tissue, and even distant organs and systems.
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Wright Medical Conserve Hip Implant

The FDA has issued a Class 1 recall of certain Wright Medical Profemur modular neck-stems.  An unexpectedly high number patients across the U.S. have reported a snapping, or fracture, of their Profemur hip system at the stem.  Individuals who received the Wright Conserve Hip System or Profemur Z Hip Stem are suffering from side effects typically seen.

Some common side effects of the Wright Hip Implant:

  • Severe hip pain
  • Infection or swelling around the hip
  • Crunching or clicking noises
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Metal poisoning also known as metallosis is another serious side effect that is reported in cases involving various brands of defective hip implants. Metallosis is the release and buildup of cobalt and chromium ions into the bloodstream, and this condition is potentially associated with a variety of severe side effects.
  • Some side effects of metallosis or Metal Poisoning resulting from defective hip implants are as follows:
  • Vertigo ( a sense of rotation, rocking, or the world spinning, experienced even when someone is perfectly still.
  • Optic Nerve Damage
  • Blindness
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (is a result of damage to peripheral nerves, and often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of the body.
  • Deafness

At  Ollennu & Associates, we have a comprehensive approach to handling Defective Hip Replacement Cases and Hip Replacement Recalls. Our approach has proven successful time and time again for our clients. We possess the knowledge, innovation, and resources required to effectively handle all defective medical products and defective medications claims or lawsuits all the way through trial if necessary.

We have a strong support team of professionals that include personal injury attorneys with knowledge and practical and professional experience in pharmaceutical and device clinical research, nurse investigators, litigation paralegals and legal assistants. We work hard to pursue our clients’ interests aggressively, fairly and responsibly.

Call us for a free case evaluation. We are a phone call away (860) 218-2122. For all Defective Hip Replacement matters our firm does not get paid by the client unless we are successful.

Frequently Asked Questions about Defective Hip Replacement Claims and Defective Hip Replacement Recalls:

What Should I Do If I have a Defective Hip Replacement System Right Now?
Call a firm or attorney that handles defective medical device claims and hire an attorney immediately. You need an experienced medical product liability attorney to represent you. Right now anyone not eligible and willing to participate in a settlement must still litigate their case in court.

Should I Wait to File My Hip Replacement Recall Claim?
Don’t wait. By law, you only have a limited period of time to file your defective hip replacement claim or recall. Even if you haven’t had a revision surgery to replace the recalled defective implant, you may still be able to file a case in court to protect your rights.

Should I Sign the Offer Made to Me by the Device Company?
Don’t sign anything at all. First consult with an attorney who handles defective hip replacement cases or defective hip replacement recalls. Otherwise, you could sign away important rights.

How Do Metal on Metal Hip Implants Work?
A functioning hip has a femur, a ball-shaped bone that fits on the top of the leg in a cup-shaped pelvis bone called the acetabulum.
The hip implants are typically comprised of ball and socket metal components that replace these bones. These components wear over time and were known to generate small metal particles which could cause blood contamination.

What Complications Have People Experienced?
With The DePuy hip implant was recalled after the Food and Drug Administration received nearly 400 patient complaints in two years.
Typical hip implants last 15 years, but the DePuy hip implant recall was issued after the FDA received data showing 12 percent of patients - or one in eight - required a replacement surgery within just five years.

There are a few ways metal-on-metal hip implants malfunction. The DePuy implants were difficult to implant in the precise location, making it hard for pieces to settle in the right location. It also caused contact between metal components, causing wear that was harmful to the body.

DePuy said patients experienced pain, swelling and problems walking. While this is normal immediately following a hip replacement, extended symptoms may indicate a more serious problem such as the implant loosening, a bone fracture and dislocation of the device's parts.

How Are the Typical Hip Implant Complications Treated?
Patients often require a second hip replacement, or revision surgery, which requires months of rehabilitation.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Hip Implant?
Contact your orthopedic surgeon. Your surgeon may order X-rays or blood testing to measure the level of metal particles around your hip. Based on the results, your surgeon may recommend a new surgery.

I do not have symptoms yet, what should I do?
If you do not show any symptoms, you should still talk to your orthopedic surgeon, an internist, and a knowledgeable attorney because you may have other hidden problems from the Defective Hip Replacement system, such as cobalt chromium metal poisoning in your bloodstream or in the tissue around your defective replacement device.

What information do I need for a review of my defective hip replacement case?

  • The orthopedic surgeon’s office chart which can be obtained by the Attorney reviewing your matter
  • The operative reports for the original joint replacement surgery and the revision surgery
  • The device record for the original surgery from the hospital chart (this shows the product and lot numbers of the components of the device).

Filing a Defective Hip Replacement Implant lawsuit or Hip Replacement Recall can help offset costs caused by the implant failure, including:

  • Hospital & medical bills
  • Long-term medical care
  • Pain & suffering
  • Revision surgery
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Permanent Disability