For those struggling with daily joint pain and immobility, metal-on-metal hip replacement surgery may be recommended. While joint replacements are intended to improve hip function in patients, in some cases they can be the cause of numerous complications. Complications commonly associated with these implants include degraded metal components making their way into the bloodstream, weakening of the bone, implant dislocation, and severe pain and discomfort. Affected patients are pursuing claims of compensation against hip implant device makers with the help of a Zimmer Kinectiv lawyer.
If you have questions about your Zimmer Kinectiv 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 Zimmer hip replacement attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. The time to pursue a claim is limited, so contact us today.
Reasons For Hip Replacement Surgery
Osteoarthritis is one of the main reasons why patients decide for hip replacement surgery. As cartilage deteriorates around the hip joint, the two ends of bone can rub together causing great pain. This can also result in the growth of bone spurs, which contribute to increasing discomfort and stiffness. Other conditions that can result in the need for hip replacement surgery include cancer of the bone, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis (restricted blood flow to the bone resulting in necrosis) and injury.
For patients suffering from these conditions, a hip replacement is intended to increase mobility while also reducing any pain and discomfort. The implanted device mimics the hip’s natural ball-and-socket configuration, which boosts strength in those hip joints that are weakened by either injury or disease. Cartilage damage is addressed through use of a metal socket, which replaces the acetabulum (the area where the head of the femur meets the pelvis to form the hip joint). The new prosthetic components are intended to be a long-term solution to joint pain, with some estimating that implants can be viable for up to 20 years.
Metal-On-Metal Design Flaws Cited In Many Complications
While artificial hip implants can be made from a number of materials, metal-on-metal configurations are thought to be a more durable alternative. However, the use of metal is associated with serious complications due to the continuous friction of metal components coming into contact with each other. After repeated wear, metal components have been known to break down, which can then result in metal ions being dispersed into a patient’s bloodstream.
This was illustrated in one case where a woman reported complications four years after a hip replacement surgery. During the subsequent surgery, it was determined that the patient was suffering from elevated levels of cobalt and chromium within the blood, which led to aggressive metal toxicity of the joint as well as substantial erosion of the acetabulum.
Other Possible Side Effects Of Metal-On Metal Hip Implants
In addition to the increased risk of metal ions making their way into the bloodstream and causing blood poisoning, a number of patients with metal on metal hip implants have also experienced the following side effects:
- Loosened implants
- Swelling around the surgical site
- Implant dislocation
- Weakening of the bone
- Increased pain in hip joint
In many cases, complications will require further corrective surgery to remedy the side effects of metal-on-metal hip implants. Also known as revision surgeries, these treatments are often far more involved than the initial procedure.
A Zimmer Kinectiv Recall
Risks of metal on metal hip implants have been well-known for some time. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety communication aimed at health care providers and patients. The alert cited both the possibility for systemic reactions (the breakdown of components contributing to metal ions within the bloodstream), as well as tissue damage occurring around the implant area.
In June 2015, a voluntary recall was initiated by device maker Zimmer Inc., regarding their ML Taper Hip Prosthesis with Kinectiv Technology. The device maker recalled 752 implants due to cytotoxicity levels of the device which exceeded allowable limits.
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.