Traditionally, hip implants have been made of ceramic or polyethylene or some other plastic type material. In the recent past, the manufacturers of hip implants have developed metal on metal hip implants in which the “ball and socket” of the device are both made from metal. The materials used are generally cobalt, chromium or titanium alloys.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed due to serious hip replacement complications stemming from these implants. The lawsuits are seeking compensation on behalf of patients injured by these metal-on-metal devices.
What You Need to Know
These lawsuits make allegations against hip implant device manufacturers including DePuy, Zimmer, Wright Medical, Stryker, Smith & Nephew and Biomet. Allegations include:
- The manufacturer failed to adequately test the device
- The device can corrode, and metal ions are released into the bloodstream causing severe metal toxicity (metallosis) in patients, and damaging surrounding bone and destroying tissue
- Defective materials were used in the manufacture of the device, allowing metal debris to be shed into the body, or allowing hip implant components to break
- Design flaws cause improper fit, causing pain and difficulty walking
- The hip implant’s faulty design causes loosening of the joint, where the artificial joint separates from the bone rather than fusing with the bone, causing extreme pain
- Recipients of defective hip implants experience early failure of the device, involving excruciating pain, and the need to undergo replacement surgery; some patients do not fully recover from the injuries
- Defective implants designed for use in young, active patients caused crippling pain following surgery leaving them more disabled than they had been before their hip replacement
- The manufacturer failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the dangers of the artificial joint
The manufacturer knew or should have known of the device’s dangers in comparison to other hip implants in the marketplace because of these complications of metal toxicity, breakage, loosening of the hip joint, early failure, and the increased need for replacement surgeries.
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