In a hip replacement procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged portion of the patient’s hip joint and replaces it with an artificial device in an effort to help reduce the patient’s pain and increase his or her mobility. The types of hip replacements chosen by physicians as well as the materials used to make the hip implants vary, and a device is often chosen according to the patient’s activity level and age.
Overview of the Common Types of Hip Replacements
The most common of all types of hip replacements, metal and plastic implants feature a metal prosthesis that replaces the socket and ball of the hip as well as a plastic spacer that is inserted between the two. The metals typically used in these devices include stainless steel, cobalt, chrome and titanium.
Hip implants comprised of all ceramic parts were first used in the 1980s but did not receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval until recently. These devices are believed to be the most damage-resistant as they are less prone to scratching due to the smoother surfaces. Additionally, an acetabular component made of metal and a femoral head made of ceramic make up another type of hip replacement: the ceramic-on-metal devices.
Metal-on-metal hip implants, while effective, are the subject of pending lawsuits across the U.S. They feature the same metals used in metal and plastic implants and are typically used in younger, more active patients. However, the two metal parts may rub against each other and cause metal shards to deposit in the patient’s bloodstream. This is why thousands of patients across the country, as well as world-wide, are filing lawsuits.
Are Certain Types of Hip Replacements Safe?
According to thousands of lawsuits currently in court, metal-on-metal hip implants may cause serious side effects and life-threatening complications. According to several physicians, not every type of implant is suitable for each patient, and a physician may make his or her decision based on the patient’s condition and the risks of complications for the devices that he or she may be considering.
If you live in Florida and you experienced one or more of the most commonly alleged complications while you were fitted with a metal-on-metal hip implant, contact a Florida attorney who can work to help you determine whether you have a case. Some of the side effects reported by patients include a difficulty walking, infection, metal sensitivity, bone fracture, limited mobility and dislocation. Additionally, you may wish to file a lawsuit in Florida if you suffered from swelling, metal poisoning, neurological damage, early device failure or damaged tissues and joints. Many patients reportedly required additional procedures to correct the complications allegedly caused by the implants.
Plaintiffs Filing Lawsuits against Hip Implant Manufacturers
More than 5,700 hip implant lawsuits had been filed against DePuy Orthopaedics as of April 15, 2014 by plaintiffs who had allegedly experienced complications due to the company’s meta-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant. Additionally, plaintiffs are pursuing claims against the manufacturer for its ASR devices, alleging that the implants caused pain, infection and were prone to early device failure. According to court documents, a $2.5 billion settlement was reached over 8,000 Depuy ASR claims while another manufacturer, Stryker Orthopaedics, agreed to a settlement in December 2013 with patients who had received its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants.
Do You have a Florida Hip Replacement Lawsuit?
Have you or someone you love in Georgia received a metal-on-metal hip implant and you suffered from complications either during or following implantation? Contact Attorney Group for Florida today for more information about your legal rights and to receive a free consultation. We can answer your questions regarding the types of hip replacements we investigate, and help you determine if you have a case. We can connect you with an affiliated attorney in Florida who can work to help you seek the compensation that you may deserve.