Smith & Nephew Metal Hip Implant Injury Update. As another anniversary date of the earth’s rotation around the Sun has passed, comes timely news regarding the product liability metal hip lawsuits against Smith & Nephew.
As readers of the blog will note, the lawsuits against Smith and Nephew are for the allegedly defective Birmingham Hip Resurfacing devices, which are prone to early failure, metallosis and the need for urgent replacement.
The number of lawsuits on file has crossed the 200 mark in the consolidated multidistrict federal court action, which was centralized in May 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Was is the problem with the Smith and Nephew line of Birmingham Metal Hips?
Many hundreds of patients who were implanted with the controversial Birmingham Hip replacement device (BHR) as part of the resurfacing procedure for the treatment of advanced osteoarthritis and other degenerative hip problems have reported personal injuries from metal toxicity, pseudotumors, and metallosis leading to revision surgery.
What is the cause of the premature BHR failure?
The BHR device consists of a metal femoral head component and a metal hemispherical acetabular cup and the device is called a “metal-on-metal” hip implant. The cup fits into the patient’s hip socket, or acetabulum, and grinds against the femoral head during movement of the patient’s hip joint.
Both components are made of special proprietary cobalt and chromium metal alloys. During normal daily movement the grinding effect of the metal components rubbing against each other causes microscopic particles of metal to be released into the patient’s hip joint and body, causing bone and tissue death, cobalt and chromium toxic damage and the formation of pseudotumors. This medical side effect is known as metallosis.
The side effects and complications associated with the BHR are not unique to the company or the device. In fact, over the past ten years, many metal on metal hip manufacturers have come under fire for similar premature hip implant failures and metallosis injuries. DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle (made by the medical device giant Johnson & Johnson), Zimmer Durom Cup, Biomet m2A Magnum, Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II, Encore, Wright Conserve to name a few.
Part of the problem: No National Registry
Unfortunately for American patients, we do not have a national registry where we can track the complication and failure rates of metal on metal hip implants and get an early warning of the problems.
But other countries do, according to the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device has a seven-year revision rate of 11.76 percent, well above the normal acceptable failure rate for a device of this type.
The National Joint Replacement Registry of Australia in 2015 found the BHR has a ten-year revision rate of 14.5 percent for women. Other studies place the failure rate for women as high as 26 percent.
If you think you may have Smith & Nephew Birmingham Resurfacing metal hip device and are experiencing pain caused by metal corrosion or have suffered premature hip failure requiring full revision and emergency care, please call Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm at 888-210-9693. We are based in Dallas, Texas and handle premature hip failure injury cases nationwide.
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