There are more than half a million Americans with hip replacement devices in their bodies and for many, the device is going to cause them more harm than good in the long run. Though it is possible to live many years with a hip replacement and never experience a problem, many will suffer from a wide range of debilitating side effects, including:
- Dislocated hip
- Failure of the device that requires a premature replacement
- Release of toxins into the bloodstream
- Loss of bone strength
- Degenerative heart disease
- Necrosis of the tissue surrounding the implant
- Non-cancerous tumors
Some of the hip implant devices on the market are metal-on-metal, which means the parts intended to mimic the body’s natural hip joint are all made of metal. Over time – and often in just a brief period – the friction caused by the metal components rubbing against one another trigger a variety of negative effects.
Not only does the device malfunction because of its faulty structure, the metal-on-metal friction causes the release of particles that damage the tissue surrounding the implant. These particles are also released into the blood stream, which causes problems in areas of the body far from the implant. These secondary side effects include serious health problems like cancer and heart disease.
Tens of thousands of people who were given metal-on-metal implants have experienced inflammation, discomfort, and a host of unpleasant side effects in the months and years following the implantation of their devices.
Filing a Metal-on-Metal Lawsuit
Some spouses have filed “loss of consortium” lawsuits after their significant other’s hip implant created problems so severe it affected their marital relations. There are even wrongful death metal-on-metal lawsuits filed by families who lost loved ones to hip implant complications.
Some of the best known medical device companies are involved in these metal-on-metal lawsuits. Consumers trusted companies like Stryker, DePuy, Johnson & Johnson, Wright Medical Technology, and Biomet to manufacture safe, effective devices, and they were betrayed when the companies not only sold them faulty devices but failed to warn them of the known dangers.
Plaintiffs in the metal-on-metal lawsuits have dealt with a variety of complications. Anyone experiencing any of the following side effects from their hip implant is encouraged to speak to an attorney:
- Failure of the device that requires early replacement
- Leaked toxic substances
- Cancer and non-cancerous tumors
- Degenerative heart disease or cardiomyopathy
- Necrosis of tissue
- Metal poisoning
Medical Research Shows Serious Problems with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Devices
There is continued research into how hip implants have led to serious medical complications and more and more people in the medical community have begun to realize that metal-on-metal implants are dangerous. Lawsuits are in the process of being filed as more information comes to light and plaintiffs realize they were betrayed by medical device companies. Those affected could join a class action suit or file an individual suit against the manufacturer of their metal-on-metal hip implant
A recent study showed that metal-on-metal hip implants are much more likely to need repair or replacement, and researchers concluded that this type of implant is just not worth the risk.
The study, conducted by British researchers, included data from more than 400,000 hip replacements from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. More than 31,000 of the procedures were metal-on-metal devices. After five years, nearly six percent of patients with the metal-on-metal devices needed repair or replacement surgery. That compares with just about one and a half to two and a half percent of people who had ceramic or plastic joints that needed repair. Doctors typically expect hip joints to last at least a decade.
The author of the study summarized the results by pointing out the majority of those with metal-on-metal implants did not suffer complications, but with the incident of complications so much higher than it is with the alternatives, there is no sense testing the waters. He stated, “If I were a patient, I would not choose a metal-on-metal hip.”
If you or a loved one has suffered medical complications after the implantation of a metal-on-metal hip implant device, you may be entitled to take legal action.