Metal on Metal Hip Implants: Frequently Asked Questions in New York

New York- Metal on Metal Hip ImplantsWhat goes wrong with a defective hip replacement?

So-called metal on metal hip joints are often constructed using strong metal alloys that often include cobalt and chromium. The ball-and-socket design requires that the metal “ball” be in contact with the metal “socket.” In some cases, complications have arisen from metal debris created by this metal-on-metal contact. Metallic material can end up in soft tissues where it may cause serious inflammatory reactions.

The simple fact that artificial hip joints would create some microscopic debris was widely known. However, in some metal-on-metal designs, the ball can press too much on the edge of the socket. This causes a chisel-like “edge-loading” phenomenon that can create much larger amounts of tiny metal particles that may be absorbed into soft tissue or the bloodstream. Reports have emanated from major orthopedic centers in New York and elsewhere regarding the incidence of metal debris-related problems.

What symptoms might someone with a recalled or defective hip experience?

Reported adverse events have included, but are not limited to, significant hip pain, swelling in the surrounding region, flexibility limitations, difficulty walking, fatigue, hip popping and hip squeaking. Some complications have been known to become debilitating over time. Bone loss and/or death of tissue may require additional surgery.

How do I know if I have a recalled hip?

An attorney focused in this area of defective medical devices can work with you to confirm exactly what type of artificial hip you may have, or help you understand how to find out. It is important to recognize that a hip recall is not necessary for a lawsuit to be a possibility.

What is being done about defective metal-on-metal hip implants?

Some types of metal on metal hip implants have caused such bone and/or tissue damage that they have had to be replaced in approximately 1-2 years. Such hip replacements were originally expected to last 15 years or more. Some prominent orthopedic surgeons in the United States have discontinued their use of certain well-known artificial hips. When artificial hips have to be replaced, the revision surgery does not come without risk. Also, patients face another round of recovery. Each subsequent surgery takes more bone, and so subsequent hip surgeries on a given patient could potentially leave the patient with a permanent disability.

Which metal on metal hip implants have thus far been recalled?

These manufacturers are among those that have been involved in litigation:

  • DePuy Orthopedics
  • Stryker Orthopedics
  • Smith and Nephew
  • Biomet

The so-called DePuy metal on metal hip implants, like the ASR and Pinnacle products are from the DePuy Orthopedics division of Johnson & Johnson. As quoted in the New York Times, the manufacturer has agreed that “metal on metal wear debris may cause soft tissue reaction in the area of a hip implant in a small percentage of cases.”

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a hip implant injury?

Every state, including New York, has a statute of limitations that limits the time an injured person has to commence litigation that seeks compensation. Attorney Group for New York can tell you how these limits might apply to your situation. It is important to act promptly in order to meet possible legal deadlines for pursuing a claim.

What should I do if I believe I have a claim?

Please contact us. At Attorney Group for New York, we can help you determine if you have a claim. We offer a complimentary consultation that will give you an idea of whether litigation seeking compensation is appropriate in your case. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. Contact us today to learn more.