Smith & Nephew hip replacement lawsuits are being filed by patients who experienced serious complications after their surgery.
More than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries occur each ear in the U.S. While they are intended to improve mobility and relieve pain, patients have found in that their devices have failed and have caused serious health problems. Those who received Smith & Nephew hip implants are not immune from the complications and many patients who received this brand of hip implant have taken action by filing a Smith & Nephew hip replacement lawsuit.
The R3 Acetabular System, manufactured by the British company Smith & Nephew, is a metal-on-metal (MoM) implant that features an optional metal liner component.
Recipients of the device have suffered complications including:
- Severe pain
- Hip fractures
- Loosening of the device
- Device failures
- Metal sensitivity
- Immune disorder
Many Smith & Nephew hip device patients have chosen to file lawsuits seeking financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Smith & Nephews R3 Acetabular Implant System Recalled
The Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System hip replacement device was launched in Europe and Australia in 2007 and in the United States in 2009. Just three years later, in June of 2012, it was recalled, after testing showed a high rate of revision surgery for those implanted with the device. Approximately 7700 patients were affected by a defective implant and subject to the June 2012 recall of the Smith & Nephew hip device.
Following the recall, Smith & Nephew issued a statement to doctors who had implanted the R3 Acetabular liner, claiming the recall to be only a precautionary step. Smith & Nephew also claimed it was unable to identify a single reason for the device failure, but noted it had received reports of “infection, dislocation, metal sensitivity, loosening, and fracture.” The alert encouraged doctors to follow up with any patients implanted with the liner.
Even though “metal sensitivity” was listed in the reasons for recall, Smith & Nephew maintains that the R3 Acetabular device does not cause metallosis or metal poisoning, as many other similar devices have done. Despite this claim, at least one person has filed a Smith & Nephew hip lawsuit claiming to have suffered metallosis and other injuries after implantation of the device in 2010. The man underwent revision surgery after reporting a grinding noise to his doctor at the location of the replacement.
Experts have expressed concerned about the Smith & Nephew device and others like it for a number of years. Like other metal-on-metal implants, it may have been rushed to the US market through the 510(k) process in which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to forgo costly clinical trials if they claim that a device is similar to other devices already on the market.
Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System Complications
Medical experts believe problems related to the R3 Acetabular System are caused by the metal-on-metal design. When the joint inside of the liner moves, it creates friction, which then leads to the release of metal particles. These chromium and cobalt particles are carcinogenic and linked to blood poisoning.
Patients have suffered necrosis of the tissue and bone in the area surrounding their hip implant, and some have suffered organ damage due to the metal particles entering the blood stream and traveling to other parts of the body. Additionally, many of these devices have loosened and failed due to the deterioration of tissue and bone in the surrounding area which can no longer support the device.
Smith & Nephew is also the manufacturer of two other products for hip replacement which have come under scrutiny. The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system and the Oxinium ceramic liner but to date no official recalls have been issued. The FDA issued a warning concerning the ceramic liner after determining the manufacturer did not follow protocol in documenting its manufacturing procedure and also did not properly sterilize the produce and machines used in creating it.
Filing a Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement Lawsuit
Smith & Nephew is likely facing more than 500 hip replacement lawsuits for injuries caused by its defective devices. Federal Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular hip lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal courts in Maryland but other cases have been filed in multiple state courts as well.
Patients of loved ones of those who suffered complications after receiving a Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement device such as the R3 Acetabular System or liner should seek legal advice.
Hip implant failure complications or reasons for lawsuit claims have included:
- Hip pain
- Loss of mobility
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Flu-like syndrome
- Hip replacement or revision surgery
Past medical injury claimants have received settlements which may have included lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of consortium and other financial damages. There are no guarantees but a consultation with a Smith & Nephew hip replacement attorney will help to determine eligibility.