When metal hips are used in hip replacement surgery, patients can suffer from implant failure, metallosis, bone death, dislocation, and other serious complications.
Many patients experience relief from pain caused by osteoarthritis and increased mobility. But, like other surgeries, hip replacement carries its own set of risks and complications that require immediate medical attention or even additional surgeries to treat. The type of implant may also increase the risk for certain complications. For example, studies show metal-on-metal implants have greater risk of loosening or early failure because metal particles released from the device may weaken nearby bone and tissue.
Popular brands of metal-on-metal hip implants include Smith & Nephew, Biomet M2a-Magnum, and DePuy ASR and Pinnacle.
Some risks associated with hip replacement include:
- Blood Clots – After hip replacement surgery, patients have a greater risk of developing blood clots in their legs. These clots can travel to the heart, lungs or even brain and cause serious medical problems such as heart attack or stroke.
- Infection – Infection can occur around the wound or artificial joint. These infections may begin after the patient goes home from the hospital or immediately after surgery. Although minor infections respond well to antibiotics, deep infections may require more surgery and implant removal.
- Dislocation – This is an uncommon complication but is most likely to occur within the first few months of surgery when tissues are healing. The implant ball may come out of the socket. Doctors can usually put the joint back in place without surgery but may need to perform an operation if the hip continues to dislocate.
- Loosening – Implants naturally loosen and wear out over time. But, sometimes, this occurs prematurely and cause discomfort, swelling and pain. This can happen because of worn bone or tissue surrounding the implant. Some patients may need another surgery to correct this.
Although several hip implant manufacturers have faced lawsuits recently, Johnson and Johnson’s DePuy ARS and Pinnacle have recently made headlines after a jury decided against the company.
A $502 million verdict was awarded to five plaintiffs in a bellwether trial. The jury awarded $142 million in compensatory and $360 million in punitive damages to the plaintiff.
The lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR and Pinnacle devices claim that the devices were defective and that the company knew they were defective. Many people who received the defective device have had to under go revision surgery. If you or a loved one was injured by defective hip replacement, contact our office immediately. You may be eligible to receive compensation.