Hip and knee replacement systems are one of the most popular medical devices used today. Each year, more than a million Americans receive an artificial hip or knee replacement. Despite the popularity of hip replacement systems and the commonality of hip replacement procedures, however, the number of complaints regarding metal-on-metal hip implants continues to soar.
According to this NY Times article, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received more than 5,000 complaints between January and August about several metal-on-metal hips, which is more complaints than the FDA had received about metal-on-metal hip implants in the previous four years combined.
Most of the reports involve patients who have had their metal-on-metal hip implant removed, or will do so in the near future. Although the implants are designed to last up to 15 years, early replacement is a common problem for many metal-on-metal hip implants, which can cause dangerous complications for elderly patients.
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures in the United States. In fact, the article states that, by some estimates, approximately 500,000 patients have received a metal-on-metal hip implant.
ASR Hip Implant
The DePuy ASR hip implant systems accounted for 75 percent of the complaints reviewed by the NY Times. The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System were recalled in 2010 due to a higher-than-normal failure rates associated with the devices and complaints that many patients were experiencing serious side effects from the hip replacement systems. Many doctors believe that the cup of the DePuy ASR him implant was too shallow, which led to improper implantation and other health complications, including the release of potentially dangerous levels of chromium and cobalt into the body.
Other Data Regarding Dangers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
Recent data indicates that metal-on-metal hip implants are more dangerous than other kinds of hip implants. Earlier this year, the FDA’s Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel advised that metal-on-metal hip replacement recipients who were experiencing symptoms indicative of implant failure should see their doctor to have X-rays, MRIs and CT scans performed in order to detect abnormalities. Blood testing may also be required in order to test for metal ions.
Moreover, according to this article, a number of studies have found evidence that the recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants may face a significant risk of developing serious complications including tissue damage, device failure, need for revision surgery and long-term disability due to corrosion and shedding of metal ions from the implants.
What to Do If You Have Received a Metal-on-Metal Knee or Hip Implant
If you have received a metal-on-metal hip implant, you should consult with your doctor about any potential medical complications associated with the device. Moreover, because the costs associated with a hip implant complications and revision surgeries are extensive, patients who have received a metal-on-metal hip implant may want to consult with an experienced hip implant lawyer like the Chicago knee implant attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC.
Contact the Chicago product liability lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants.