All-metal hip replacements have been in the spotlight recently due to thousands of lawsuits filed against manufacturers of these products. Lawsuits allege the implants are linked to serious medical complications, including metal poisoning and bone deterioration. Plaintiffs in lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for its DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement claim they suffered from metal poisoning and other complications after the implant shed metal, affecting surrounding tissue. Despite these risks, J&J has not issued a recall for its all-metal hip replacements.
Medical Complications Linked to DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implants
All-metal hip implants pose the risk of several serious medical conditions, including:
- Severe pain
- Deterioration of surrounding bone
- Death of surrounding tissue
- Implant loosening
- Inflammation and swelling
- The need for revision surgery
- Metallosis (a type of metal poisoning)
It was originally believed that all-metal hip replacements would last longer and be more durable than their ceramic or plastic counterparts. However, it appears that the vast majority of complications are linked to the all-metal implants. In fact, many patients report that their all-metal device failed only a few years after being implanted. Research has shown that the issue is likely due to the process of metal shedding that often occurs with these implants. When metal particles are released into the surrounding tissue, high levels of cobalt and chromium may build up in the blood, resulting in a condition called metallosis. This painful, potentially-debilitating condition can lead to death of surrounding tissue, and deterioration of surrounding bone.
Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Hip Implant
According to a report from the National Joint Registry in Great Britain, up to 14 percent of all-metal hip replacements need to be removed within seven years. If you have a hip replacement device, the following symptoms may indicate a malfunction with your implant.
- Severe pain in the hip, leg or groin
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty standing
- Swelling at or around the hip joint
- Popping, squeaking, or grinding sounds
- Kidney problems
- Skin rashes
- Thyroid problems
- An enlarged heart
In 2011, the FDA issued a warning about the potential dangers of metal debris from all-metal hip replacements. The agency said that high levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood may cause additional illnesses and medical complications, including problems with the heart, thyroid, and nervous system. A Boston defective medical device attorney will help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to an all-metal hip implant.
Hip Implant Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only manufacturer being sued for defective hip implants. In fact, most of the major manufacturers are facing lawsuits. One manufacturer in particular, Stryker, settled with injured patients for an estimated $1 billion in 2014.
Johnson & Johnson is facing nearly 9,000 product liability lawsuits for its Pinnacle hip implant. The company reached a $500 million settlement with five plaintiffs in March 2017, and a fourth bellwether trial is scheduled for September 2017. And this isn’t Johnson & Johnson’s only experience with hip implant lawsuits; the medical device giant previously agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion in damages for Pinnacle’s predecessor, the DePuy ASR. A MA personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by a hip implant or any type of defective medical device.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Hip Implant Failure Attorneys Serving All of Massachusetts
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a pharmaceutical or medical device company, 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, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. 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.