Hip replacement surgery has relieved pain and improved range of motion and mobility for millions of people. Yet recently it has come to light that a great number of replacement devices carry a significant risk of failure. Metal-on-metal hip devices have been found to cause incapacitating and life-threatening damage and injuries. Read on to find out what you need to know if you or a loved one has an all-metal hip replacement device.
What Are the Problems?
Metal implants were developed to be more durable and to provide a greater range of motion than other hip replacements, especially those made from a combination of ceramic, plastic and metal. These devices often begin showing signs of weakness within just a few years.
Worse than device failure, however, are the potential complications involved. When an all-metal implant begins to deteriorate, friction between the ball and socket components causes the metal to shred, allowing dangerously high levels of toxins to seep into the bloodstream. Metal poisoning, or metallosis, from a hip implant can destroy bone and muscle and cause serious or even fatal damage to the lymph nodes, liver, kidney and spleen.
What Are the Symptoms?
People who have metal-on-metal implants should be aware of signs that may indicate device failure. Symptoms can vary among patients, but often include regular or prolonged pain in the hip, groin or leg, and swelling at or near the hip joint. Many people also experience a loss of mobility, causing a limp or change in gait.
Some all-metal hip replacement failures cause a grinding or clunking in the joint as well. Complications from these devices lead people to require revision surgery to implant a new device.
What Are the Legal Options?
The FDA has issued a directive ordering manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacements to undertake studies on device failure. This has led several manufacturers to issue recalls and even take their products off of the market.
Many hip replacement lawsuits have been settled already, providing significant compensation to injured patients for medical expenses and job-related losses. If your implant has failed, you may be eligible for compensation under one of these settlements. An experienced attorney can evaluate your claim and advise you of your rights, so that you can understand the potential value of your case.
If you are concerned about a metal-on-metal hip implant, speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. For more information, contact the experienced attorneys at Rasmussen and Miner in Salt Lake City for a free consultation. We specialize in battling medical malpractice and negligence, and we will assist you in learning more about the risks and likelihood of hip replacement failure.