Metal hip implants are thought to provide patients a more durable option when it comes to hip replacement surgery. However, metal implants have been linked to a number of side effects, including loosened or dislodged implants, fractures and changes in leg length. Patients are also at risk of experiencing serious complications resulting from metal particles making their way into the bloodstream, a form of blood poisoning called metallosis. A South 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 South 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 South Carolina or another state who can help you throughout the legal process.
When Hip Replacements Are Necessary
A healthy and functional hip joint will allow for an extensive range of movement. However, damaged hip joints can be incredibly painful and greatly limit mobility. When these effects become too severe, hip replacement surgery is often necessary to improve function.
According to the Medical University of South Carolina, the hip joint consists of a ball and socket configuration, with cartilage acting as a cushion for both the head of the thighbone as well as the socket (situated in the pelvis). In some cases this cartilage can wear down. Stiffness and discomfort typically follow, making walking, standing and sitting increasingly difficult if treatment is not sought.
How Metal Hip Implants Work
Those suffering from problem hip joints may require a total hip replacement in order to increase mobility and reduce pain. Metal hip implants are often used because these devices are thought to be more durable than those constructed from other materials. This is important when it comes to repairing damaged hip joints given how much stress and pressure the area is subjected to.
Johns Hopkins describes the process involved in implanting a metal hip prosthesis. First any damaged tissue is removed from the hip joint to make way for the implant. Once this occurs, the implant (which is composed of a ball and socket similar to the organic hip joint) can be placed. A stem is attached to the thighbone and fitted into the implanted artificial socket within the pelvis. In some cases cement will be used to attach the prosthesis to the bone.
Complications Associated With Metal Hip Replacements
Although many patients experience improvement after hip replacement surgery, others suffer from sometimes serious complications. The Mayo Clinic provides the following risks linked to this procedure:
- Joint fracture – Fractures are a common occurrence during hip replacement procedures. While less significant fractures typically heal on their own, further medical treatment will be required to address larger fractures.
- Loosened implant – If the artificial joint fails to make a proper connection with the bone loosening can occur. Loosening may also take place over time, particularly with older implants.
- Dislodgement – Hip implants can also become dislodged after surgery. This entails the ball of the implant snapping free from the socket when in certain positions.
Revision surgery may be required in the event that complications prove severe. Subsequent surgeries can involve total replacement of the implant depending on the amount of damage incurred, and tend to be more complex than the initial surgery.
FDA Safety Warning
Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery utilizing metal implants may also experience metal poisoning. As the metal components of a hip implant make contact with each other, shards of the device can enter the bloodstream. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some patients receiving metal implants reported symptoms like skin rash, sensory impairments (both auditory and visual) and depression. Additionally, metal poisoning related to defective components can also result in renal impairment, thyroid malfunction and heart disease.
Based on these findings the FDA issued a safety alert in 2013 warning the medical community about possible ill-effects and offering recommendations on how to prevent serious complications from occurring. The severity of these effects has led many injured patients to file lawsuits against manufacturers of metal hip implants for failing to provide sufficient warning about possible adverse reactions. Patients have also cited manufacturer negligence in the design of these devices based on the rates of failure.
The Attorney Group for South Carolina can connect you with an experienced metal hip replacement lawyer who can help you throughout the legal process.
How a South 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 South 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 South 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 South Carolina today.