Hip replacement implants are among the most commonly performed orthopedic procedures in the U.S. In these surgeries, a physician removes the arthritic or damaged hip joint and replaces the ball-and-socket joint with an artificial implant. The materials and the types of hip replacements used depend on several factors, including the surgeon’s preference, the activity level of the patient and the age of the patient.
What are the Common Types of Hip Replacements?
- Metal and Plastic: The plastic and metal hip implants are the most commonly used types of hip replacements. Both the socket and the ball of the hip joint are replaced with a metal prosthesis, and a surgeon places a plastic spacer between the two parts. The plastic is a polyethylene, and the metals used in these devices include cobalt chrome, stainless steel and titanium.
- Metal-on-Metal: Metal-on-metal hip implants use similar materials minus the plastic spacer. They are typically implanted into younger patients as they are intended to withstand the active lifestyle. These implants have less wear and can accept larger bearings than implants made of other materials.
- Ceramic-on-Ceramic: All-ceramic hips were first introduced in the early 1980s, but they were only recently approved for use in the U.S. They are designed to be the most resistant to wear of all available types of hip replacements, and they are smoother and more scratch resistant than other materials.
- Ceramic-on-Metal: The first ceramic-on-metal hip implant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011. The implant features an acetabular component made of a metal alloy and a femoral head portion made of ceramic.
Are Hip Implants Safe?
Not all types of hip replacements are options for every patient. The decision to proceed with specific types of hip replacement procedures over others should be based on the knowledge about current and past technology, its potential durability based on clinical use and laboratory testing and the drawbacks of use. Additionally, patients in Kentucky who have experienced adverse side effects may have legal recourse and may consider seeking legal counsel to learn more about their rights.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have become the subject of growing litigation due to several alleged complications. Plaintiffs in ongoing metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits claim the devices caused severe and potentially life-threatening problems, including pain, swelling, discomfort, neurological damage, damaged joints and tissues, limited mobility, metal poisoning and early device failure shortly following implantation. Other possible complications include infection, bone fracture, dislocation, metal sensitivity and difficulty walking. In many cases, plaintiffs claim that this early device failure caused them to require a revision or removal procedure to fix the issue.
Are There Lawsuits in the U.S.?
Lawsuits pending against DePuy Orthopaedics, filed by plaintiffs who were allegedly fitted with the company’s metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant and who suffered complications. Additional lawsuits are pending throughout the country by plaintiffs who received DePuy’s ASR hip implants as well as the ABG II and Rejuvenate systems manufactured and marketed by Stryker Orthopaedics. DePuy has agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion to settle more than 8,000 ASR lawsuits while Stryker reached an agreement in December 2013 to settle the first of hundreds of ABG II and Rejuvenate claims. If you have questions or would like to learn more about pursuing a claim in Kentucky, consider seeking legal counsel.
Have Questions about Pursuing a Claim in Kentucky?
If you or someone you love in Kentucky has been fitted with a DePuy or Stryker hip implant or if you have questions about the types of hip replacements involved in legal proceedings, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky today for a no-obligation case evaluation. There is no cost to speak with us, and we can address your concerns and connect you with an affiliated attorney in Kentucky who can work to file your lawsuit and help you seek damages to which you may be entitled.