Hip Implants & Complications
Serving Families in Buffalo, New York
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States as are thousands of hip resurface operations.
Hip replacements/resurfacing substitute diseased cartilage and bone with other materials, and enable people to maintain reasonably active lifestyles without the pain that is often associated with a degenerative hip. Improvements in joint replacement surgical techniques and technology have greatly increased the effectiveness of total hip replacements since they were first performed in 1960.
Mimicking the ball and socket hip joint, all current designs feature a ball component made of a highly polished strong metal or ceramic material and a socket/cup component made of plastic/polyethylene, ceramic, or metal. The ball and socket may be made out of the same material, different materials, or the socket may be lined with a different material.
Metal-on-metal implants are popular because the metal is durable and allows for a larger ball, which offers improved stability. Unfortunately, it has been determined that the rubbing of the metal ball with the metal socket can cause debris to break off and enter the soft tissue around the implant as well as the bloodstream. This can cause a reaction in some patients, such as pain or swelling around the hip, osteolysis, and pseudotumors (fluid pockets). Additionally, the metal is subject to corrosion, which gives off metal ions that also cause problematic reactions. Furthermore, some of these devices have shown to be much less durable than promised – sometimes failing within a few years of implantation, far short of their expected 15 year minimum lifespan.
Premature failures have led to numerous lawsuits against some of the manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, alleging that the devices had design and manufacturing defects that led to high rates of failure and costly, painful revision surgeries. Patients have complained of severe discomfort, swelling, and loss of mobility. Many patients have also developed metallosis, which is an adverse tissue reaction caused by a buildup in the body of heavy metals such as cobalt and chromium. This form of metal poisoning can lead to relentless pain, breakdown of muscles, bone loss, tissue damage, skin rashes, thyroid problems, impaired vision, impaired hearing, and organ damage. These symptoms usually develop between one to four years after the implant surgery.
All medical devices must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess their safety, effectiveness, and quality before being sold to the public. A defect can result from many things including faulty design and poor manufacturing quality. If the defect is serious enough, the FDA or the manufacturer can recall the device in an attempt to remove it from the market. Manufacturers Smith & Nephew, DePuy, and Zimmer have all experienced hip replacement device recalls. Despite the recalls, some all metal hip devices remain on the market. Many of these implants have been linked to injuries, making additional recalls possible.
If you are unsure whether you have a metal-on-metal hip, you can call your orthopedic surgeon and ask for the manufacturer and model of your implant. This should be done even if you are not presently experiencing any negative side effects because serious problems could arise at any time. If it turns out that you are in fact depending on a potentially defective hip implant or if you have suffered complications as the result of a hip replacement, you should take action to protect your rights. Contact one of the experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers of Feroleto Law today by filling out this convenient online form or by calling 716-854-0700. No one should develop health problems because a medical device that was supposed to improve their quality of life was improperly designed, tested or manufactured.
At Feroleto Law, we believe that patients should not be injured by the very medical devices that should help them and we can help you pursue financial compensation for the pain, suffering, lost wages and medical costs that you have sustained as a result of these unsafe hip replacement devices. We have a record of success in challenging defective product cases and we energetically work to achieve the best results for our clients. In addition to cases handled in the Buffalo area, we are prepared to handle products liability claims on behalf of clients in Binghamton, Ithaca, Jamestown, Rochester, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, and other Western New York and Upstate New York communities. We would like to meet with you to discuss your case. Please call us at (716) 854-0700 or email us today.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Lawyers Also Serving Western and Central NY
Millions of people experience severe hip pain just trying to do simple things like walking or standing. To relieve the discomfort and get back to enjoying everyday activities, many undergo hip replacement or hip resurfacing surgery and trade their diseased hip joints for artificial ones. Plastic/polyethylene, ceramic, and metal are all used to construct ball and socket hip implants. However, potentially serious injuries have resulted from some of the metal-on-metal hip joints and have necessitated revision surgeries much sooner than initially projected. Friction between the metal parts can release metal particles and ions into the body causing, among other things, pseudotumors, bone loss, and organ damage. The cause of these failures may include design factors, technique factors, and factors related to patient immune responses.
In the United States, there are currently six manufacturers of metal-on-metal total hip replacement systems and three approved metal-on-metal resurfacing hip systems. Several total systems have been recalled in attempts to protect the public and limit liability. Unfortunately, thousands of people had already experienced injury before the recalls were issued and such recalls do not necessarily compensate injured people adequately for their pain, suffering, and medical treatment. If you are concerned that you might have a recalled metal-on-metal system and are uncertain about which type it is, you should contact the orthopedic surgeon who performed your procedure.
Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Replacement System Manufacturers
- Biomet – devices include M2a Hip Devices, Mallory-Head (recalled), and Taperloc
- DePuy Orthopedics – devices include ASR XL Acetabular System (recalled), ASR Hip Resurfacing System (recalled), AML, Pinnacle, and Prodigy
- DJO Surgical (formerly Encore Medical) – devices include Foundation, Linear, and Revelation
- Smith & Nephew – devices include R3 Acetabular metal liner (recalled), Duo, IVS Tunneler, TriGen Hip Nail, Synergy
- Wright Medical Technology – devices include Profemur Z Hip Stem (recalled), Perfecta, Dynasty, and Metal Transcend
- Zimmer Holdings – devices include Durom Acetabular Component (Durom Cup) (recalled), Mayo Hip (recalled), VerSys, and Longevity
Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing Systems
- Birmingham Hip Resurfacing – made by Smith & Nephew
- Cormet Hip Resurfacing System – made by Corin Medical (marketed in the US by Stryker Orthopedics)
- CONSERVE Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System – made by Wright Medical Technology
Stryker Orthopedics manufactured a pair of devices, the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems, that it voluntarily recalled in 2012 after patients experienced similar side effects as with other hip systems. The circumstances surrounding Depuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System were particularly noteworthy because the recall did not come until after data from an international study indicated that the five year failure rate was as high as one in eight patients. The company also neglected to mention the high failure rate data at the time of the recall, instead claiming that the phase out was due to declining sales.
Many injury victims share common questions, concerns, and uncertainties. This is general information based upon New York law and its application will be unique to your case. You should always consult an experienced and knowledgeable New York personal injury lawyer if you have specific questions or if you need any legal advice on these issues. For over 30 years, the attorneys of Feroleto Law have been in the business of helping innocent people who were injured because of someone else’s negligence. Our clients rely on our skilled lawyers for thorough case analyses, dedicated representation, and excellent results.
Metal on Metal Hip Replacement FAQs
What is products liability?
Products liability concerns the responsibility of those who make products available to consumers when the products fail to perform as intended and cause some kind of damage. Products liability lawsuits fall under the broad definition of personal injury, which is an area of law that aims to protect people who are harmed by the negligence, recklessness, malpractice, or inaction of others. Medical devices such as metal-on-metal hip replacement or hip resurfacing systems are examples of products that have resulted in serious health risks.
What is a recall?
Typically, injuries incurred from unsafe medical devices are not isolated incidents. When the number of injury reports grows, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well the manufacturer will investigate the reports and determine whether a product recall is necessary. A recall may happen for a number of reasons and, in the case of hip implants, does not necessarily mean that the hip system needs to be removed. A recall may simply caution for different or more frequent monitoring. The most important thing you can do if you think you have a recalled Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip is to consult your orthopedic surgeon.
Why do I need the assistance of a products liability lawyer?
Because cases involving defective medical devices are complex and expensive, you should have an experienced. It is always a good idea to explore every option available to you. By doing so you risk nothing and you can make decisions from a position of strength rather than one of uncertainty. The Buffalo product liability attorneys of Feroleto Law Offices have the experience, resources, and network of medical experts and investigators to successfully pursue your claim. We can evaluate your possible claim relating to any MoM hip implant, including those dangerous products for which there has already been a recall such as:
- Biomet’s Mallory-Head
- DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System
- Depuy’s ASR Hip Resurfacing System
- Smith & Nephew’s R3 Acetabular metal liner
- Wright’s Profemur Z Hip Stem
- Zimmer’s Durom Acetabular Component (Durom Cup)
What side effects are metal-on-metal implants causing?
Some reports have shown that the metal ball rubbing alongside the metal socket can cause particles to be released. This may cause a reaction around the hip joint as metal debris enters the soft tissue and loosens the implant, resulting in pain, swelling, difficulty walking, audible popping or grinding, and fluid pockets. The debris may also enter the bloodstream and cause metallosis, which is a form of metal poisoning that can lead muscle breakdown, bone loss, tissue damage, skin rashes, thyroid problems, and organ damage.
If they are so dangerous, why are metal-on-metal hip implant devices still being offered to patients?
As with all medical devices, metal-on-metal hip implant systems come with risks. Orthopedic surgeons must evaluate each patient to determine if the benefits of such implants outweigh the risks. MoM hip implants overall have been shown to provide significant benefits in certain patient populations. Adverse reactions to the metal debris are relatively low and, in many cases, have taken several years to surface, making it difficult to establish a cause and effect relationship. However, if you experience any negative side effects from your implant, contact us for a free consultation to prevent having to pay for additional medical care relating to your implants.
What should I do if I know I have a metal-on-metal hip replacement or hip resurfacing system?
Your orthopedic surgeon should always be your first resource IF you are experiencing hip or groin pain, swelling, mobility problems, numbness, or a worsening of your previous symptoms. Blood tests and imaging procedures will indicate if there are problems with your hip implant. Your primary care physician should be consulted if you have any new symptoms or medical conditions in your body other than at your hip. Be sure to remind your doctor that you have a metal-on-metal hip implant system. If you are not having any symptoms and an examination reveals that the implant is functioning appropriately, there is likely no need for additional tests.
I have a metal-on-metal hip implant, but no symptoms yet. What are my legal rights?
Even if you do not have complaints commonly associated with any of the recalled systems or the MoM systems in general, you may still be entitled to legal damages from the manufacturer based upon the chance that you may eventually incur these complications. You also may be eligible for medical monitoring over the life of your artificial hip. However, your claim must be filed within a certain time period known as the limitations period. This is one of the reasons why it is important to discuss your case with a knowledgeable NY personal injury attorney.
How long do I have to file a claim?
As with most legal issues, hip failure claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that a consumer only has a certain amount of time following an injury to file a lawsuit. The applicable time limit varies by state and by the nature of the injury sustained. Contacting a NY products liability lawyer as soon after the injury as possible is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected.
How much is my case worth?
If you have been injured and another party is found to be liable, you are entitled to compensation for all your costs associated with the incident. This value will be different for every case, but generally includes medical expenses, time spent recovering, the costs of disability (both with respect to quality of life and employability), and pain and suffering. You are entitled to be restored, insofar as is possible, to the condition you were in prior to negligent actions of the responsible parties, which may include manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and other entities involved in providing the defective hip implants.
How do I pay for legal services with Feroleto Law Offices?
Feroleto Law Offices handles litigation on a contingency basis. This means that we do not collect any payment unless your claim has a successful resolution. You pay us a percentage of whatever amount we recover for you. Furthermore, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your case without cost to you and are pleased to offer free consultations.
When a medical device does not work as it should, the effects can be damaging and extensive. Medical device manufacturers have a legal responsibility to make their devices safe, to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, and to warn of any risks or side effects involved in using the device. Patients have a right to know the risks associated with a particular medical device.
The Buffalo, New York defective hip replacement lawyers of Feroleto Law are dedicated to representing victims of negligently manufactured and marketed MoM hip systems. We will carefully investigate all of the evidence and we have the experience to hold accountable companies that may have sacrificed your health in the name of corporate profit.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a metal-on-metal total hip replacement or resurfacing system, or have the symptoms or diagnosis of metallosis (metal poisoning), you may have valuable legal rights. Please contact us today for an evaluation of your case by calling 716-854-0700 or by filling out this form.