If you are the recipient of a metal-on-metal hip implant, you may have heard that researchers are now waning about the risk of toxic metal fragments leaking into the bloodstream and surrounding tissues. There is growing evidence that this can cause severe side effects, including tissue death and permanent disability. Even more troubling, the devices continue to be marketed and implanted in unsuspecting people. Health regulatory agencies now recommend that thousands of people with these devices undergo regular check-ups to watch for signs of emerging complications.
What You Can Do & How a Hip Replacement Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Hip Replacement induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a toxic metal hip replacement, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Hip Replacement Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Metal Hip Implant Linked to 37% 5-Year Failure Rate
Documents unsealed in state court in January 2013 indicate that DePuy knew about problems with the ASR hip implant in 2008, but waited two years to issue a recall. A 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.
Hip Replacement Overview
Traditionally, hip replacements were made of a metal-on-plastic or ceramic design, in which the “ball” was made of metal, and the “socket” made of plastic or ceramic. In the 1990s, hip replacement manufactures created a metal-on-metal design. When they were initially created, manufacturers believed that they were ideal for younger hip replacement recipients, because they would last longer than the ceramic or plastic designs.
The FDA approved several types of metal-on-metal hip replacements without requiring clinical safety studies. The manufacturers submitted their application for FDA approval without safety studies because the metal-on-metal designs were “substantially similar” to hip replacements already on the market.
By the time regulators suspected that the metal-on-metal design was potentially toxic, hundreds of thousands of people had already been fitted with the devices. Even more concerning, the metal-on-metal design continues to be marketed an implanted in unsuspecting Americans.
Toxic Metal in Hip Replacements
Chromium ions and cobalt ions from the toxic metal hip replacements may leak into nearby tissues and enter the bloodstream. In most patients, these excess ions are secreted in the urine. However, in some patients, the toxic metal ions may accumulate in the body. As the metal-on-metal ball joint wears, microscopic fragments of metal may be absorbed into a patient’s bloodstream.
In a condition called metallosis, metal ions accumulate in the tissues surrounding the hip replacement. This causes the formation of giant cells and tissue fibrosis. Some patients with metal-on-metal hip implants have been found with Serum Cobalt Levels more than 100-times the normal level.
Study of Toxic Metal Hip Replacements
Experts are calling for metal-on-metal hip implants to be banned, after a study published in the Lancet found that metal hip replacements are more likely to fail early, and can also leak toxic metal ions into the bloodstream.
- 6.2% of metal-on-metal hip implants failed within 5 years, compared with 2.3% of ceramic and 2.7% of plastic designs
- Failure rates were four times higher for women, especially those with larger hip replacements
In April of 2010, the United Kingdom’s Medical Products and Healthcare Devices Regulatory Agency (HDRA) published a public safety warning regarding toxic metal hip replacements. The agency recommended that people who received the metal-on-metal device should be monitored for 5 years after the operation. The patients should undergo blood tests to watch for signs of elevated cobalt or chromium in the bloodstream. They also recommended that patients undergo imaging tests for patients with pain in their hip replacement.
Symptoms of Cobalt Poisoning
There have been reports of patients who have suffered permanent disability as a result of metal cobalt poisoning after receiving a toxic metal-on-metal hip replacement. The most common types of lifelong disability include blindness, deafness, heart damage, and neurological damage.
Symptoms of cobalt poisoning include:
- Visual impairment (blindness)
- Cardiomyopathy (heart failure)
- Cognitive impairment
- Auditory impairment (deafness)
- Peripheral neuropathy
Patients with impaired kidney function or renal function may have a higher risk of cobalt poisoning.
Do I have a Toxic Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting hip replacement induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Hip Replacement, you should contact our defective hip implant lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Hip Replacement Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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