Metal-on-metal hip replacements have recently been associated with serious side effects, including a significantly higher rate of failure compared to other hip implants. The metal-on-metal design may also leak toxic chemicals into the body, increasing a person’s risk of metal poisoning and hip implant failure. An estimated 500,000 Americans have metal-on-metal hip implants, but many have no idea that they could be at risk of a severe side effect.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting metal on metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know had a metal-on-metal hip replacement and subsequently suffered a serious side effect, you should contact our firm immediately for a free case consultation. Please click here to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: $8.3 Million Award in First ASR Hip Implant Lawsuit
May 17, 2013 – DePuy withdraws the Ultamet and Complete liners for metal-on-metal hip implants. The company will be phasing out metal hip implant products and renew focus on plastic and ceramic hip implants. Click here to read more.
March 11, 2013 – A jury in Los Angeles, California state court has awarded more than $8.3 million to Loren Kransky, the first plaintiff to see his ASR hip implant lawsuit go to trial. The award includes $8 million for pain and suffering and $338,000 for expenses. DePuy faces approximately 10,750 more ASR hip implant lawsuits. Click here to read more.
February 19, 2013 – Study finds that women are 29% more likely than men to need revision surgery for hip implant failure within 3 years. Click here to read more.
January 30, 2013 – Expert witnesses testified that the ASR failed DePuy’s own safety tests because it released 16-times more chromium and cobalt than the Pinnacle hip implant. Instead of re-designing the ASR, DePuy re-designed the test. Click here to read more.
January 25, 2013 – A Rochester NY woman’s ASR lawsuit chosen for federal bellwether trial. Click here to read more.
January 24, 2013 – DePuy knew about hip implant problems in 2008, but waited 2 years to issue recall of the ASR. Click here to read more.
January 23, 2013 – A DePuy company analysis in 2011 linked the ASR to a 37% five-year failure rate, which is significantly higher than the industry’s “acceptable” 5% five-year failure rate. Click here to read more.
January 21, 2013 – DePuy has offered to settle each ASR hip implant lawsuit for $200,000. The first of more than 10,000 lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial next week. Click here to read more.
January 17, 2013 – The FDA has published a Safety Communication to warn that metal-on-metal hip implants can shed toxic metal particles that can cause soft tissue damage. The agency has also updated recommendations for orthopedic surgeons. Click here to read more.
December 12, 2012 – The journal Orthopedics describes the case of a 54 year-old woman implanted with a Pinnacle hip implant. The implant shed metal debris, which cause fluid-filled soft-tissue growths called bursal cysts to form in her hip. The cysts cut off circulation to her lower leg and caused swelling. She required revision surgery, and was re-implanted with a ceramic-on-ceramic hip implant. Click here to read more.
December 6, 2012 – More than 3,200 DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits have been filed in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Click here to read more.
December 5, 2012 – A South Carolina man has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant is defective. Click here to read more.
November 9, 2012 – Thousands of metal hip implant lawsuits filed in federal MDLs. Click here to read more.
October 26, 2012 – A Birmingham hip resurfacing implant lawsuit has been filed in Illinois. Researchers are also warning that women should not undergo hip resurfacing procedures due to the “unacceptably high” risk of failure and revision surgery. Click here to read more.
October 3, 2012 — A federal judicial panel has centralized Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant lawsuits into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, before Judge Robert L. Miller. Nearly 70 pending lawsuits will be transferred to the court. Click here to read more.
September 28, 2012 – Researchers have found that metal-on-metal hip implants do not increase the risk of cancer after 7 years. Click here to read more.
September 27, 2012 – Smith & Nephew is warning that failure rates for the Birmingham hip implant exceed benchmark levels established in the United Kingdom. Click here to read more.
September 24, 2012 – Australian health authorities recommend regular blood tests for everyone with a metal-on-metal hip implant. Click here to read more.
August 2012 – Stryker has recalled two modular-neck hip implants, the Rejuvenate and ABG II. The products have a metal-on-metal component in the neck/stem junction, which is prone to corrosion, fretting, and shedding toxic particles of metal into a patient’s body.
June 4, 2012 – A new study has found that people who have metal-on-metal hip implants may be 10 times more likely to develop a pseudotumor. A pseudotumor is a non-cancerous growth of tissue in the hip joint surrounding the hip implant. Over time, it can continue to grow until it causes severe pain, swelling, inflammation, and dislocation of the hip joint.
Experts Calling for Ban of Metal Hip Implants
In March 2012, a study published in the Lancet found that metal-on-metal hip implants were significantly more likely to fail compared to other models of hip implants. Though the use of metal-on-metal hip replacements has declined in Europe in recent years, these potentially dangerous medical devices are still common in the United States. British researchers looked at data from 400,000 people who had a hip replacement, of which 31,000 had a metal-on-metal design.
They found the following rates of failure:
- 6.2% failure rate in metal-on-metal design
- 2.3% failure rate in ceramic-on-ceramic design
- 1.7% failure rate in metal-on-plastic design
The experts concluded that the metal-on-metal design had significantly higher risks, but no additional benefit. They are recommending that health authorities ban this dangerous medical device.
Toxic Substances may leak from Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements
Since 1975, researchers have known that charged chromium ions are a carcinogen. Many types of metal-on-metal hip replacements are made of chromium-cobalt. When the metal parts of the hip implant grind together, they can shed toxic nano-particles of chromium and cobalt into the body. The metal debris forms an irritating residue around the implant, increasing the risk of inflammation, pain, pseudo-tumors, bone death, and other complications that may require revision surgery. Some particles are highly soluble, and can leech into the bloodstream.
An investigative team from the BBC and British Medical Journal discovered the link between metal-on-metal hip replacements and these life-threatening diseases caused by toxic chemicals. They were alarmed that European and U.S. health regulatory agencies had approved the devices with minimal data regarding their safety and effectiveness. Side effects of many implants takes several years to emerge. By the time everyone realized that the metal-on-metal design had more side effects than alternative designs, hundreds of thousands of people had been implanted with the devices.
More Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Information
The New York Times recently reported that metal on metal hip implants can have serious and sometimes lifelong complications. These implants were developed to be more enduring than previous implants but have been found to cause loss of bone, inflammatory reactions, death of surrounding tissue and even the need for early replacement. Some of the complications are believed to be caused by metal pieces being shed into the body. The article reported that the metal on metal implants have been used in about one-third of the approximately 250,000 hip replacements performed each year. Another recent article in the Journal of Arthroplasty urged doctors to use the metal-on-metal implants with “great caution, if at all.”
Several companies manufacture metal on metal hip implants and according to the New York Times article, some experts believe that “in a rush to meet the demand for metal-on-metal devices, [manufacturers] marketed some poorly designed implants.”
Types of Metal Hip Implants
Some of the most popular metal-on-metal hip implants include:
- DePuy ASR (recalled)
- DePuy Pinnacle
- Stryker ABG II (recalled)
- Stryker Rejuvenate (recalled)
- Wright ProFemur
- Biomet M2A Magnum
- Smith & Nephew Birmingham
- And more
Systemic Reactions from Metal Hip Implants
According to a January 2013 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) communication titled “Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants,” studies have linked metal hip implants to many serious complications in areas outside the hip. These reactions may be due to high levels of metals (particularly cobalt) circulating in a patient’s bloodstream. Potential risks include:
- General hypersensitivity reaction (skin rash)
- Neurological changes including sensory changes (auditory, or visual impairments)
- Psychological status change (including depression or cognitive impairment)
- Renal function impairment
- Thyroid dysfunction (including neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain or feeling cold)
Metal on Metal Hip Implant Side Effects
Metal on Metal hip Implants have been linked to the following side effects:
- Failure of the device (breaking, needing early replacement)
- Dislocation of the hip
- Leaking toxic substances into the bloodstream
- Loss of bone
- Inflammatory reactions causing pain
- Early replacement
- Death of surrounding tissue
- Cobalt Poisoning
Do I Have a Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuits in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know had a metal-on-metal hip replacement and subsequently suffered a severe side effect, you should contact our firm immediately for a free case consultation. Please click here to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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