Metal-on-metal hip replacements were developed as a longer lasting alternative to hip implants made from other types of materials. Despite manufacturer claims of improved durability, some patients have experienced significant side effects after being implanted with these medical devices. A Kinectiv hip attorney may be able to help patients who have received a Kinectiv hip implant and are experiencing complications, including loosened implants, bone degeneration, implant displacement, and metal toxicity of the blood.
If you have question about your Zimmer hip replacement, contact Attorney Group today. We provide free, confidential, no-obligation consultations, and if you have case we can connect you with an affiliated Kinectiv hip attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. The time to pursue a claim is limited, so contact us today.
How Hip Implants Work
Whether because of disease or other physical trauma, significant damage to the hip joint usually results in a dramatic reduction of mobility. Artificial hip implants are used to stabilize the hip joint, thereby improving strength and mobility while also reducing discomfort. In a total hip joint replacement, both the femoral head and the acetabulum (the socket where the femur sits) are replaced with an artificial prosthesis. A liner inside the newly created socket is intended to ease movement, while joint stability is enhanced by a metal stem that is affixed to the thigh bone.
Common Risks Of Hip Replacement Surgery
Although hip replacement surgery is performed to mitigate the effects of certain injuries and health conditions, implantation of an artificial hip also carries some risks. These risks may include:
- Dislocated/Dislodged Implant – Hip implants have been known to displace after surgery. Should the ball of the implant come free from the socket, medical intervention will be required.
- Loosening of Implant – Newly implanted hip joints sometimes fail to establish a stable connection with the bone, which may lead to a loosening over time. A change in the positioning of one’s prosthesis can cause bone loss around the implant site.
- Infection – Infections are another risk associated with artificial hip surgery. Infection can occur either at the surgical site or within the deep tissue surrounding the implant.
While the severity of side effects can vary, many patients who experience complications must undergo revision surgery to correct issues with the initial implant. In some cases, numerous surgeries may be required to restore mobility.
Possibility Of Metal Toxicity
Patients undergoing metal on metal hip replacement surgery are also at risk of metal toxicity from the hip implant. The constant contact between the ball and socket often results in particles of metal shedding inside the body, and these particles can damage the repaired hip joint, as well as possibly causing sickness due to metal toxicity or blood poisoning. This is also referred to as metallosis.
Cobalt, a metal that is commonly used in construction of artificial hips, is known for its toxic effect on the body. Described as acutely toxic in larger doses, cobalt exposure can result in hypothyroidism, neurotoxicity (including atrophy of the optic nerve, depression, convulsions, headaches, tinnitus, visual impairment, etc.), and heart disease. Patients who have undergone metal on metal hip replacement surgery are often found to have elevated cobalt levels in the blood.
Kinectiv Hip Attorney Notes Implant Recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has expressed concern over the use of metal on metal hip implants in the past. These concerns center on the metal particles that result from the continuous contact of the ball and socket components. This can lead to substantial bone damage around the implant site, as well as symptoms related to metal particles making their way into the bloodstream.
Some patients have alleged manufacturer negligence in the design and production of metal-on-metal hip implants. Device maker Zimmer Inc., for example, issued a voluntary Class I recall in June 2015 due to residues left on implants after production. These residues have been known to cause severe effects such as infection, increased pain, serious allergic reaction or even death in patients.
Injured Patients May be Eligible for Compensation
Device makers have a duty to design and produce safe products, and to warn of possible risks associated with their products. Failure to fulfill that duty can result in injuries to patients, and the device maker being held liable for those injuries.
Patients who are injured by metal-on-metal hip replacements may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from injuries. Compensation can be based on factors including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from an injury
- Loss of income or ability to work due to loss of mobility
If a loved one dies after complications from a metal-on-metal hip implant, family members may be able to pursue claims for wrongful death damages, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Loss of financial support
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from the loss of a loved one
Affected patients and their families are encouraged to seek the advice of a hip replacement attorney to discuss their legal rights and options for compensation.
Contact Us For More Information
If you have been injured by a metal-on-metal hip replacement, contact Attorney Group. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group today.