In the wake of news reports on recalled metal on metal hip replacement systems and the number of lawsuits filed by people who have experienced problems with these medical devices, hip replacement patients may wonder whether they have cause for concern. The first step in answering this question is to determine the type of hip replacement you have.
If you or a loved one has received a metal-on-metal hip replacement and suffered complications, call Attorney Group for Tennessee for more information about your options. In a free consultation, we can answer your questions. If you have a case, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Determining the Hip Implant Type
While determining the type of hip implant you received may seem difficult, the process can be more straightforward than you might imagine. Following these guidelines can help you answer questions you might have regarding your hip replacement:
Step One – Contact the orthopedic surgeon who performed the hip replacement. If he or she cannot be easily located, the clinic or hospital involved in the original procedure will still be able to assist in most cases. Or, ask your regular physician for the information. The type of hip implant you have will often appear in the electronic medical records (EMR) your doctor has access to.
Step Two – If the device is a recalled hip replacement, your surgeon or regular physician should be aware of details of the recall. This information is important to them, because it can be relevant to your ongoing medical care.
Also, more information about a recalled hip replacement can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website at the FDA: Medical Device Recalls page. If the hip implant has not been recalled, it is possible to monitor possible future hip recalls via automatic email notifications from the FDA. It is also possible to contact the manufacturer of the device once the type of recalled hip replacement is known.
Step Three – If a recalled hip replacement is involved, the status of related lawsuits can be researched. Some allegedly defective hip implants have already been the subject of legal settlements that have provided compensation to patients in Tennessee and across the country.
Having a recalled hip replacement does not automatically require hip revision surgery. The FDA states that some recalls only need different kinds of medical monitoring in the future.
Are Concerns Limited to Recalled Hip Replacements?
It is also important to understand that hip implants can cause problems even if they have not been recalled. In some cases, proper alignment of the artificial hip joint is not achieved. This may cause undue friction, releasing metal debris into the body. A Tennessee hip replacement patient, for example, may experience walking difficulties and possibly severe pain. In other cases, a hip implant may not successfully attach to the bone. An unstable hip implant causing excruciating pain may be the result.
Manufacturers have used a variety of materials in their implants, including plastic (polyethylene), metal, ceramic, or some combination of these.
Metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have generated the most concern, because a steel “ball” moves within a steel “socket,” and metal particles can be released under certain circumstances. These microscopic particles can irritate surrounding tissue or migrate into the bloodstream. The steel alloys used in these devices often include toxic metals like chromium and cobalt, and can result in severe blood poisoning.
Questions About Recalled Hip Replacements?
If you or a family member is the recipient of a recalled hip implant or one that has not been recalled, contact Attorney Group for Tennessee with any questions you may have. We can provide you with a free, no obligation consultation and can connect you with an affiliated hip replacement attorney if you have a case.