Defective Hip Replacement Lawsuits

 

 A Brief History of Hip Replacement Implant Surgery

It is widely accepted that hip replacement surgery with a well researched and well designed hip implant that has proven to be safe and effective is one of the most successful surgeries in orthopedics. The success rate, depending on the model used ranges from 95 to 99% with an average life expectancy of between 15 to 20 years.

The most historically successful designs incorporate:

  • Metal or Ceramic Head
  • Acetabular component (Cup) with a plastic (Poly) liner
  • One piece stem

Successful replacment hips

Subsequent to the above designs new alternatives were developed by several medical device companies that promised improvements in the surgical results and overall performance of the implants. The manufacturers of the new modular hip implant promised:

  • Greater outcomes due to metal on
    metal lasting longer
  • Reduction in wear debris (no plastic)
  • Decreased risk of hip dislocations
  • Two piece (neck and stem) allowing
    greater flexibility during surgery to
    match the patient’s anatomy     modular hip

Unfortunately for patients these products were rushed to market without clinical testing or real life testing in spite of the fact that major / significant changes were being made to the design which has resulted in complications that are both real and significant. These complications have caused incredible damage and destruction to patients, which continue to be an ongoing problem.

Helping You Understand the Increased Risks and Potential Health Problems Linked to Metal on Metal and Modular Hip Implant Products

Hip replacement surgery is supposed to be a proven and time-tested solution to painful conditions and degenerative bone disease. Unfortunately for many people, hip replacements have only led to additional surgeries and dangerous medical complications. Metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip replacements in particular have caused significant unnecessary hardships for thousands of patients.

Hip surgeries, including total hip replacement, partial hip replacement and hip resurfacing procedures have become increasingly popular over the past 30 to 40 years. Many people experience some type of hip problem during the course of their lifetime including fractures and arthritis. There are several types of hip implant devices made from a variety of materials including plastic, metal and ceramic. Metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip implant devices gained popularity over the past 10 to 15 years and were designed to last longer. Manufacturers such as Depuy, Stryker, Zimmer and Biomet marketed metal on metal and 2nd generation modular implants to younger, active individuals. These patients would likely outlive the life of a traditional implant and require another replacement.

Read the Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law  for a  $2 million verdict awarded in New Mexico finding Zimmer’s Kinectiv modular hip implant to be defective, in what is believed to be the first successful outcome for a Zimmer Kinectiv lawsuit  .

Unfortunately, thousands of patients have reported serious complications directly caused by metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip implants only a few years following surgery. Complications include:

  • High levels of metal in the bloodstream
    known as metallosis or metal poisoning
  • High rates of joint failure
  • High rates of joint revision
  • Joint loosening and dislocation

Tissue trauma from hip

The primary problem associated with metal on metal and 2nd generation modular implants is metallosis. As the metal parts of the devices rub together, little shards of metal are shed, or fretted, into the joint, tissue, bone and eventually the bloodstream. The metal particles damage the soft tissues around the joint and also cause joint inflammation and swelling.

According to defective hip replacement attorney Joseph Osborne, “There are a variety of symptoms that a recipient of a bad hip replacement may endure. Things such as pain or a stabbing sensation in the hip joint itself, infection, dislocation, loss of support on the side the hip replacement is on, also, back pain and pain on the other hip due to more use because you are suffering on that particular side.”

“I have an example of a client who received a defective hip in the state of New York. Due to family issues, she had to move down to South Carolina and was unable to get the necessary treatment that she needed.

She had called me, not knowing one, what type of hip replacement she had and two, what to do next. We were able to, one, ascertain that she had a recalled hip device and two, we were able to advise her of the proper treatment she needed to truly diagnose her situation.

In doing so, we got her in front of the right doctors who could perform things like metal ion testing for cobalt and chromium and MRIs to find out the status and the true problems that she was having with her hip replacement. She has now been recommended for a revision surgery and is going to get the defective hip replacement removed as soon as she possibly can.“

 

Video Transcript: You could have a defective hip replacement and still at this point be symptom free. However, to know that you are symptom free, it is only as good as the information that you have in front of you. I had a client call me the other day and ask me if they had any issues with the hip replacement they had. One, I had to ask them the question of did they actually know the hip replacement they were implanted with. At that point, they did not. I advised them to go to their orthopedic surgeon and request what’s called the implant sheet or product ID sticker to ascertain what hip they actually had. Further, I asked them a question of whether or not they had metal ion testing performed. At that point they had not. I had advised them that because there could be a metal on metal junction in their hip, they could have increased metal ion levels and have no idea that those metals were in their blood stream without getting that proper testing performed.

Through being able to identify the type of hip they had and by metal ion testing that was performed by their orthopedic surgeon, they were actually diagnosed with metallosis and had not had any problems associated with that beforehand. Because the onset of symptoms may not occur immediately or right away, you still need to continue to treat with your orthopedic surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon that is well versed in metal on metal hip replacements.

Metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip recalls and warnings

The FDA classifies metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip replacements as a Class III high-risk device, but does not require rigorous premarket clinical trials or real life testing. Instead, manufacturers are able to produce metal on metal and 2nd generation modular implants that are similar to other hip devices that are already available and receive approval through the premarket 510(k) notification program. Essentially, this fast-track method paved the way for metal on metal and 2nd generation modular hip implants to penetrate the market without providing an in-depth understanding of the long-term safety and efficacy.

After receiving numerous complaints about the increased risks and dangers associated with metal on metal implants, the FDA ordered 21 manufacturers to conduct in-depth post market studies investigating the safety and efficacy of the devices. Multiple manufacturers including Depuy, Zimmer, Stryker and Wright Medical have recalled metal on metal and/or 2nd generation modular devices after facing numerous lawsuits. Many models by different manufacturers have been identified as potentially dangerous or defective because of metal on metal or 2nd generation modular hip issues, including the following:

  • Stryker Rejuvenate
  • Stryker ABG II
  • Zimmer M/L Taper Kinectiv
  • Wright Medical Profemur
  • Smith & Nephew SMF
  • OmniLife Apex ARC
  • Stryker Accolade TMZF
  • Zimmer Versys
  • DePuy ASR
  • DePuy Pinnacle
  • Zimmer Durom Cup
  • Biomet M2A/Magnum
  • Wright Medical Conserve
  • Smith & Nephew R3
  • DJO Encore

 Helping You Understand How the Stryker Replacement Hip Recall Affects Your Case

Stryker has been manufacturing hip replacement devices for several decades. Recently, Stryker hip implants have received significant media coverage due to the number of complaints and lawsuits filed on behalf of injured patients. The subjects of a majority of these lawsuits are the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular neck-stem implants. On July 6, 2012, Stryker voluntarily recalled these products due to the increased risk of fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction. Due to this recall, patients that received the Rejuvenate or ABG II implants must have additional revision surgery to replace these components.

 Stryker metal hip replacement devices place patients at an increased risk for severe complication

The thousands of lawsuits filed against Stryker hip replacement devices illustrate the significant problems many patients experience with these products. Complications include:

  • Toxic levels of metal in the bloodstream that contribute to
    kidney and thyroid disorders, psychological impairments, eye problems
  • High rates of joint implant failure requiring surgical revision
  • Increased rates of Adverse Local Tissue Reaction leading to inflammation and swelling around the joint implant

These types of complications impact both a patient’s personal and professional life and greatly reduce one’s quality of life. Stryker lawsuits may allow an injured patient to recover compensation for

  • Past and future wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

 

Video Transcript: The injuries associated with the Rejuvenate and ABG II begin with the effect of the corrosion and metallosis from the implant to the hip joint. These corrosion and metal products are toxic and poisonous to the hip joint so they cause destruction of tissue, muscle and bone, which requires a surgery that the patient never would have needed, but for the defective nature of the implant. Often times, even after the implant is removed, the effects or the damage caused by the implant, meaning dead tissue, dead bone, dead muscle, leave the joint either unstable or damaged forever as a result of the defective nature of the implant. Over time, complications from the removal surgery exist. The need for additional surgeries, potential infections all flow from the damage caused by the Stryker implant.

For instance, I represent someone … We filed his case. He had a lawsuit against Stryker … Who worked in the construction industry. He actually owned his own construction business, a job that required him to be on rooves and to help build houses and lay tile. He had a very, very successful construction company, but because of this implant and what it did to his hip joint was so severed … Even after he had it removed, the destruction was so far advanced that to this day, he has had multiple other surgeries to try and deal with the amount of tissue and bone that was destroyed by the toxic particles and the metallosis.

His hip will never be the same. He walks with a cane. He lost his construction business and his life has been permenently scarred simply because he received an implant that again is one of the biggest catastrophes in the history of orthopedic implants. If you unfortunately are the recipient of one of these implants and have suffered one of these injuries that can be associated with metallosis and unnecessary surgery, it’s important that you reach out to someone who is experienced in handling these cases.

Wright Metal Hip Replacement

Wright Medical began manufacturing joint replacement devices in 1950 and hip and knee products made up 60% of the company’s annual sales. Wright Medical hip devices are used in both primary and revision replacement surgeries as well as hip resurfacing procedures. Wright Medical’s most popular hip replacement devices are:

  • CONSERVE Total A-CLASS Advanced Metal with BFH Technology
  • CONSERVE Total Hip with BFH Technology
  • CONSERVE Femoral Surface Replacement
  • Acetabular cup systems, including DYNASTY, INTESEAL, PROCOTYL, GLADIATOR AND LINEAGE
  • Femoral systems such PERFECTA and PROFEMUR

The Wright Medical devices that have caused the most problems in patients are the CONSERVE Plus Total Hip Resurfacing System and the PROFEMUR Z System. The CONSERVE Plus device is a metal-on-metal design that is marketed to younger, active individuals. However, the FDA has received more than 200 complaints about problems and complications stemming from these devices. Both the CONSERVE and PROFEMUR Z Systems have higher than normal failure and revision rates. Complications include:

  • Metallosis due to increased metal ions in the bloodstream, resulting in joint pain and swelling, chest pain, numbness and fatigue
  • Joint fracture
  • Severe joint pain
  • The need for several additional revision and replacement surgeries

Stryker & Wright Medical hip replacement implants have caused thousands of people additional physical, emotional and financial distress. If you have questions about your hip replacement, contact the team of passionate hip recall attorneys at Osborne & Associates Law Firm, P.A. take the time to understand your specific needs and develop a plan that works for you.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call 561-293-2600 or contact us online today. Our office is centrally located in Boca Raton convenient to several surrounding communities throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties.