Metal-on-metal hip implants were hailed as a superior alternative to their plastic and ceramic counterparts. Unfortunately, they are increasingly associated with serious medical complications, including the risk of blood poisoning. Read on for more information about metal hip implants and what to do if you’ve been injured by one of these defective medical devices.
Many metal hip implants are made of chromium-cobalt, a carcinogenic substance. When the metal components of the implant grind together through normal wear and tear, particles of chromium and cobalt can be released into the body. If the toxic substances enter the bloodstream, the results can be fatal. In addition to the risk of blood poisoning, the grinding of metal parts may also create metal debris. The shedding of this debris can lead to inflammation, extreme pain, bone deterioration, pseudo-tumors, and the need for revision surgery.
What Hip Implant Models are Dangerous?
There are several metal-on-metal hip implants on the market today. They have virtually all been linked to complications, but certain models have definitely taken the lead with regard to implant failure and side effects. These include:
- DePuy Pinnacle
- Stryker Accolade
- Encore Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant
Some metal implants, such as the DePuy ASR, Stryker ABG II, and Stryker Rejuvenate have already been recalled due to the risk of metal shedding and implant failure. A Boston defective medical products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured.
Medical Complications Linked to Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
In 2013, the FDA warned that metal hip implants can cause serious injuries due to the shedding of metal debris:
“Soft tissue damage may lead to pain, implant loosening, device failure and the need for revision surgery (a surgical procedure where the implant is removed and another is put in its place). Some of the metal ions released will enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, where they may cause symptoms or illnesses elsewhere in the body (systemic reactions).”
The defective design of metal-on-metal implants can lead to the following medical conditions:
- Metallosis (a type of blood poisoning)
- Cobalt poisoning
- Bone deterioration
- Inflammation around the hip joints
- Death of surrounding tissue
- Extreme pain
- Implant failure
- The need for revision surgery
Additional risks may include:
- Heart problems
- Skin rashes
- Depression and other cognitive impairments
- Renal impairment
- Thyroid problems
In 2016, five people who were injured by the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant were awarded $500 million in the second “bellwether” trial of the more than 8,200 pending lawsuits. According to the lawsuits, DePuy was aware of product defects as early as 2001 but continued to aggressively market the product for more than 10 years. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against DePuy and other manufacturers of metal implants. A MA defective medical products attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by a metal hip implant or similar device.
A 2012 British study looked at 400,000 individuals who had hip implants. Of those, about 31,000 had a metal-on-metal device. The study revealed that all-metal hip implants have a 6.2 percent failure rate, compared to 2.3 percent of ceramic designs and 1.7 percent of metal-on-plastic designs. As such, researchers concluded that all-metal hip implants should be banned in favor of ceramic and metal-on-plastic designs. With a much greater risk of injury, and no additional benefit, the answer was obvious; hospitals in the U.K. banned metal-on-metal implants in 2013.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Defective Medical Products Law Firm
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will ensure that you understand your rights and options before moving forward, and we will be by your side throughout the entire process. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.