National Hip Replacement Failure Attorneys
When hip implant components do not fit together precisely, micromotion can develop between the parts. Micromotion can lead to fretting and corrosion. When fretting and corrosion occurs, tiny particles of cobalt and chromium wear off the components.
The metal debris is deposited in the surrounding hip tissue and can enter a patient’s blood system. Tissue and bone surrounding the implant is damaged causing significant pain, difficulty walking, loosening of the components, and the need for revision surgery.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement, also known as total hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the patient’s hip joint is resurfaced and replaced with an artificial implant which is designed to replicate the human anatomy – that is, the relatively simple ball and socket structure of the human hip joint.
Total hip replacement is most commonly used to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis. Other indications for total hip replacement include rheumatoid arthritis, femoral head fracture, avascular necrosis, arthritis associated with Paget’s disease of the bone, and ankylosing spondylitis.
The aims of the procedure are pain relief and improvement in hip function. Hip replacement is usually considered only after other non-surgical options, such as pain medications and physical therapy, have failed.
Types of Hip Implant Systems
Different designs and materials are used in manufacturing artificial hips. Most hip implant components are constructed from cobalt, chromium, or titanium alloys. However, ceramic and plastic components are also common.
Several different hip implant designs have been used over the years including:
- Metal-on-Metal: A hip system that consists of an acetabular shell, femoral head, femoral stem, and, at times liner, which are all made of metal alloys.
- Modular Neck: A hip system that employs an interchangeable femoral neck with a dual taper on its proximal and distal ends which fits between the femoral stem and femoral head.
- Metal-on-Polyethylene: A hip system that consists of a metal acetabular shell, polyethylene liner, metal femoral head and metal femoral stem. The polyethylene liner fits between the femoral head and the acetabular shell. Although this type of hip implant was designed to remedy the problems with metal-on-metal hip devices, a metal-on-metal articulation still exists in the hip system just at a different juncture – between the femoral head and femoral stem.
Hip Implants Under Investigation
Numerous hip implant systems have been associated with early device failure and found to contribute to cobalt and chromium poisoning, adverse local tissue reactions, and the need for revision surgery, including the following devices:
- Apex Surgical: Apex K2
- Biomet: Magnum, M2a
- Depuy Orthopaedics: ASR, Pinnacle
- Omni Life Science: Apex K2
- Smith & Nephew: Birmingham, Emperion, R3
- Stryker Orthopaedics: ABGII, Accolade, Citation, Exeter, LFIT V40, Meridian, Reliance, Rejuvenate
- Wright Medical Technology: Conserve, Profemur
- Zimmer Orthopedics: Durom Cup, Kinectiv, M/L Taper, MMC, Versys
Defective Hip Implant Injuries
Increasing studies demonstrate that a malfunctioning juncture between two metal hip components is susceptible micromotion leading to early device failure. The release of metal ions off the components can result in significant tissue damage and other serious complications, including:
- Cobalt & Chromium Toxicity: The poisonous buildup of metal ions in the hip tissue, bloodstream, and organs.
- Pseudotumor: A non-cancerous tissue growth that occurs when metal debris causes severe inflammation to the hip tissue.
- Revision Surgery: Corrective surgery to remove the failed hip components and damaged tissue.
- Osteolysis: When bone becomes necrotic due to metal debris being deposited in the hip joint.
- Pain & Suffering
Defective Hip Implant Recalls
Over the last decade, a number of hip implants have been recalled from the market or “decommercialized” by companies due to significant failure rates.
In July 2008, Zimmer Orthopaedics announced the suspension of sales of its Durom Cup due to a high failure rate. The Durom Cup was first sold in the U.S. in 2006, and was implanted in more than 12,000 patients over a two-year period.
In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics recalled more than 93,000 DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System (“ASR”) devices worldwide. The recall came after data from a study indicated that the five-year failure rate was approximately 13%, or 1 in 8 patients.
In June 2012, Stryker Orthopaedics announced the worldwide recall of its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. This voluntary recall was initiated due to potential for fretting and corrosion damage at the femoral neck-femoral stem juncture.
In May 2013, Depuy Orthopaedics announced that it would no longer sell its Pinnacle hip device which incorporated a metal liner.
In August 2016, Stryker Orthopaedics initiated a voluntary recall of certain sizes of their LFIT V40 femoral heads manufactured prior to March 4, 2011, due to taper lock failure which can result in femoral head disassociation and taper corrosion. In May 2018, the recall was expanded to include additional femoral head sizes.
Hip Replacement Failure Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has suffered complications from hip implant, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
To speak with an experienced, hip implant lawyer, contact Fitzgerald Law Group at (844) FITZ-LAW or (844) 348-9529, or complete the contact form on this website for a free, confidential, case assessment.