Some patients who have had metal-on-metal hip replacement procedures have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these medical devices. The plaintiffs allege that the friction of the components led to wear that shed debris into their systems, causing severe reactions including a blood poisoning called “metallosis.” Some patients have required a second surgery to have the metal joint removed and a new one implanted. A North Carolina metal hip replacement lawsuit may be option for patients who have suffered complications as a result of a metal on metal hip replacement procedure.
If you or someone you love has had a metal-on-metal hip implant and experienced complications, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. We can help answer your questions and explain your options to you. If you choose to pursue a case, we can connect you with an affiliate hip replacement lawsuit attorney in North Carolina or another state who can help you throughout the legal process.
What is a Hip Replacement?
The hip is a complex joint that must bear the weight of the body while maintaining the ability to rotate in any direction. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains that the ball-and-socket contains several features to prevent the frequent movement and pressure from wearing the bones away due to friction. Cartilage, ligaments and a tissue membrane that acts as a lubricant cushion and protect the joint.
Replacement hips have a similar structure in order to allow them to perform the same functions. They are typically made of metal and consist of a socket, which is placed in the pelvic bone, and a ball and stem that are implanted in the top of the leg bone. To prevent excess wear, the new joint includes a spacer inside the socket. This may be made of ceramic, metal or plastic.
The use of metal-on-metal parts is a relatively new development. Doctors found that the plastic and ceramic parts were not as long-lasting, and metal alloy components were developed as the solution. The friction still creates particles from use over time, but while this erosion compromises the prosthesis, the metal ions may generate a further problem that other substances do not.
Risks Associated With Metal Hip Replacements
A safety communication from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that some people are susceptible to reactions from the metal debris. It could cause a local effect, with swelling, inflammation, pain or numbness that make it difficult for a person to walk. A reaction could also cause the joint to begin making squeaking, grinding or popping noises, or fail altogether. In some cases, it may lead to bone disintegration and loosening of the device.
The FDA warns that the problem is not necessarily isolated to the joint, as the metal particles are able to enter the bloodstream and cause possible blood poisoning. They may affect a person adversely in several other ways also. This complication may cause kidney, heart or thyroid problems, or the metal ions could even cause mental health issues or changes in a person’s hearing or eyesight.
Bonesmart.org warns that a revision surgery, replacing the faulty device with a new one, does not have the same rate of success that the first surgery does. The risk of complications is higher if the leg bone has sustained significant damage from the reaction. This could also reduce the amount of bone available to support the new implant.
While there have been some recalls of metal-on-metal hip prostheses, the FDA states that the reaction does not affect everyone. Doctors are advised by the agency to evaluate cases carefully before recommending the replacement joint, and patients who are symptomatic should be evaluated frequently with blood testing and/or imaging technology.
Attorney Group for North Carolina can connect you with an experienced metal hip replacement lawyer who can help you throughout the legal process.
How a North Carolina Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit Can Help
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 North Carolina hip replacement attorney to discuss their legal rights and options for compensation.
Contact Us For More Information
If you or a loved one suffered severe complications from a metal-on-metal hip replacement, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina for more information. 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 or file a lawsuit 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 for North Carolina today.