How a Metal-on-Metal Hip Recall May Affect You

Over half a million Americans have received metal-on-metal hip replacement implants; while these implants were marketed as being much more durable than earlier generation implants made from ceramic or polyethylene, many recipients of all-metal implants have experienced premature failure. Many recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants have been dismayed to find their particular implant the subject of a hip recall. Injured patients who have suffered a hip recall have been forced to undergo painful, risky and expensive operations known as revision surgeries in order to remove the faulty metal hip recall device.

When Hip Implant Failure Leads to Hip Implant Recall

When a hip recall is issued, it is generally because the specific implant has been found to wear significantly more than it should, generating high volumes of metallic debris which is then absorbed into the patient’s body. A hip implant recall could stem from inflammatory reactions among patients leading to groin pain or even tissue degradation and death or loss of surrounding bone. This tissue and bone loss could lead to constant pain, a limp or change in walking ability. A hip implant recall could also be tied to metal toxicity or metal poisoning which can occur when microscopic metal ions enter the bloodstream, causing a myriad of serious health problems.

Manufacturers Responsibility Regarding Hip Replacement Recall

Several metal-on-metal hip implants have been subject to hip recall just in the past several years, leaving thousands of patients seeking compensation for their pain, suffering and other physical injuries. Whether instigated by the FDA or the manufacturer, a hip recall can strike fear among those patients who have the recalled hip implanted in their body. Unfortunately, by the time a hip recall is initiated, many patients have suffered serious injury. Of course hip implant manufacturers are well aware of their legal duty to properly design, manufacture and test their products. These manufacturers must also warn the public if a device fails or is found to have serious side effects. Despite this duty, it seems that time after time yet another hip recall is in the news. Manufacturers are slow to respond to consumer complaints, assuring more injuries will occur before a hip recall is issued.

Who is Responsible for a Hip Implant Recall?

The FDA must ensure medical devices are adequately tested prior to marketing, yet it is more and more common to hear of a hip recall. This is likely due—at least in part—to an FDA approval process known as the 510(k) which allows manufacturers to have a device approved based on its similarity to a device which has already been approved. The hip recall flurry demonstrates this process is not the best way to handle medical devices and drugs which have the potential to harm or severely injure patients. Critics of the system maintain that such lax regulation provides little incentive for manufacturers to ensure their devices are safe for the public. In some instances it is not until devices are studied by independent medical researchers that the problems which eventually prompt a hip recall are brought to light.

When a Hip Replacement Recall Becomes Necessary

One all-metal hip device which was marketed as a “cutting-edge” design with improved durability and mobility underwent a hip recall when data from the U.K. joint registry revealed metal devices are not only no more durable than their ceramic and polyethylene counterparts, but were subject to considerably more problems among recipients. The National Joint Registry of England and Wales published a report that one hip device which was subject to a hip recall was replaced or removed 29% of the time after less than six year. When compared to an overall 9.5% failure rate for all-metal hip implants, this particular hip recall appeared especially necessary.

When a Hip Implant Recall Leads to Lawsuits

Every time a hip recall is issued, the expected lawsuits follow. After all, the manufacturer of the device has obviously failed to properly test the device or inform the public of the potential risks before it is too late and a hip recall is issued. A jury in one 2013 trial against the manufacturer of an all-metal hip device saw evidence pointing to the fact that the manufacturer was fully aware that within five years over 40% of the recalled hip devices would fail. Another manufacturer designed a hip implant which offered surgeons a wide variety of component lengths and sizes in order to allow surgeons more options, thus a better fit for patients. When a hip recall was issued for this particular device, the manufacturer stated it was prone to corrosion and fretting which could release metal debris into the body, damaging surrounding bone and tissue.

Could You Benefit From Consulting a Hip Recall Attorney?

Those who have suffered harm from a metal-on-metal hip implant could benefit from speaking to a Sullo & Sullo hip recall attorney. Once a hip recall has been issued, the statute of limitations begin to run, making it important that you speak with an experienced hip recall lawyer who can thoroughly assess your individual circumstances and present you with your options. A hip recall can be a very frightening thing for those who have the device implanted in their body. Whether you have yet to experience negative health issues following a hip recall of your particular device, speaking to a knowledgeable attorney regarding your hip replacement recall may put your mind at ease.

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