Hip Replacement Device

Hip Replacement Device: Complications & Lawsuits

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received complaints regarding several artificial hip implants.  Many patients have filed lawsuits against those companies for damages caused by faulty hip implants.

Which artificial hips are the subject of injury claims?

The hip implants that are subject of numerous lawsuits are the Metal-on-metal (MoM) models where metal composes both the ball and socket parts of the joint.  When the components move, they could cause accidental grinding and premature failure.

The following is a list of artificial hip manufacturers and the models under recall or which are the subject of legal action.

Stryker Orthopedics Smith & Nephew
Rejuvenate* Emperion Hip System
ABG II* Birmingham Hip
Accolade TMZF Modular SMF Hip System*
Citation TMZF Modular Redapt Revision Femoral Hip System*
Meridian TMZF R3 Acetabular*
LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral head
DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. Wright Medical Technology
ASR XL Acetabular Hip System* Conserve Plus*
ASR Hip Resurfacing System* Profemur Z Hip Stem*
Omni Biomet
Apex K2 M2a metal-on-metal hip devices
Durom Acetabular Component*

*FDA recalled models

This is only a sample of the MoM hip implants that are or were in use when these issues came to light. If you have a different brand of MoM implant, you might still be eligible for compensation if you suffered serious complications and damages.

What complications might arise from hip implants?

Many patients who receive artificial hip replacement implants require revision surgery.  These surgical revisions either fix damage to the joint area or remove the artificial joint completely and replace it with a different model.

The revision surgeries are usually in response to diagnoses by orthopedic specialists of adverse local tissue reactions or adverse reactions to medical debris from the hip implants. The symptoms of these conditions include:

  • Loosening of implant
  • Localized pain, especially in the groin, hip, or leg
  • Swelling at or near the hip joint
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pronounced limp

The following are other complications of hip implants that patients have suffered and which may be the subject of lawsuits against manufacturers:

Metal Hip Implants and Severe Pain

The main complaint among patients with faulty hip replacements is intense pain, both prior to and after the surgical procedure.  Hip replacement surgery by itself is a very painful procedure, and also the MoM implants might cause resonating pain after the surgery.

Many of the legal complaints from MoM implants cite compensation for unnecessary pain and discomfort through numerous surgeries to fix loosened or cracked implants or replace the implant entirely as a result of adverse reactions.

Metal Hip Implants and Systemic Effects

A few negative responses to MoM hip implants includes systemic effects on multiple body systems.  The FDA advices that doctors run additional assessments for patients who show excessive wear on the metal replacements or experience a localized negative response to metal debris.

According to the FDA, symptoms of systemic effects may include complications of the following body systems:

  • Cardiovascular (chest pain, shortness of breath)
  • Neurological (numbness, weakness, changes in vision or hearing)
  • Renal (changes in urination)
  • Thyroid (fatigue, weight gain)

The FDA links the cause of the systemic complications with the metal ions that accumulate as the metal joints degrade over time.

Metal Hip Implants and Metallosis

Metallosis is a rare condition caused by metallic debris from MoM implants building up in the soft tissues surrounding the hip joint.  The affected tissue seems grey, a possible sign it is oxygen-starved and damaged.

In patients with metal sensitivity, metallosis can lead to severe symptoms such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Implant failure or loosening
  • Deterioration or death of tissue and bone around joint
  • Cyst formation

Patients with severe metal sensitivity may also develop metal poisoning, which can be fatal.

Current Legal Status of Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits

The manufacturers of several brands of MoM implants have settled lawsuits from injured patients.

  • 2013 – Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) settled 7,500 claims against the ASR implant at a cost of $2.5 billion.
  • 2014 – Stryker settled thousands of claims related to faulty hip implants for a total of $1.43 billion.
  • 2015 – Five patients received a total of $502 million from DePuy for problems with the Pinnacle Ultramet implant.
  • 2016 – Six patients alleged that Johnson & Johnson covered up problems with its hip implants. The company had to pay more than $1 billion to the patients.

Lawsuits for faulty hip replacements seek a wide range of damages, from suffering and pain to the cost of corrective surgeries.  Frequent complaints which may serve as the cornerstone of a producer’s liability include:

  • Failure to warn of risks
  • Inadequate testing
  • Defective product design
  • Manufacturers knew of risks
  • Deceptive marketing
  • False claims of durability and superiority to competitor devices

Did you suffer complications from an artificial hip?

While any implant surgery has its own risks, the cases exemplified above are beyond the scope of ordinary complications.  Although the manufacturers have discontinued or recalled many of those implant versions, the symptoms can take a while to manifest in patients that have these implants.

If you experienced some of these complications listed on this page and have had a metal-on-metal hip implant, you may be qualified to submit a claim for damages.  For more information on your rights to file a lawsuit, call (914) 200-0013 to find a lawyer who can help.