Metal on metal hip replacement surgery is meant to help restore mobility, relieve pain and increase the function of a diseased hip joint. Many patients find improvement in their daily life following a total hip replacement. Some patients however, have experienced failure of the devices and other complications, including a type of blood poisoning called “metallosis.” A Washington metal hip replacement lawsuit may be option for patients who have suffered complications as a result of a metal on metal hip replacement procedure.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Why Do People Need Hip Replacements?
Hip replacement surgery is generally used when other methods to treat hip pain have been proven ineffective. According to WebMD, these methods often include ice, rheumatoid arthritis treatments, Aleve or Tylenol. Hip pain is often caused by cartilage loss in hip joints; the cartilage helps make movements fluid. The hip joint becomes damaged in situations such as falls and car accidents, and as people age, many experience cartilage loss.
Metal Hip Implants and Other Hip Replacement Options
As BoneSmart.org explains, metal hip implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999, but surgeons have been using them since 1955. Metal implants are flexible as far as size goes; they are capable of fitting people of many sizes. However, it is inevitable that metal particulates wear off as the implant works, with the metal parts rubbing against one another. While complications from this issue are relatively rare, they can be significant for some people. However, advantages of this hip replacement type include the potential for more durability and a decreased chance of hip dislocation.
Typically, individual surgeons choose which kind of hip replacement to use. They have quite a few types available, and each falls in one of four categories: ceramic on ceramic, metal on metal, ceramic on plastic, and metal on plastic.
Regardless of hip implant type, patients face potential side effects such as wear and tear, and dislocation, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Loss of bone is another issue for some patients. Further surgery to correct a hip replacement is necessary in some situations.
Symptoms of Issues with Metal Hip Implants
As the FDA points out, even if patients show no symptoms of a bad reaction to their metal hip implants, they should see their surgeons every one to two years as a safety precaution. During an appointment to investigate suspected or potential issues, a surgeon performs a physical assessment of the hip and can choose to run tests to check on metal ions in the body as well as soft tissue levels.
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.
Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuits Filed
Some patients who have experienced complications after metal-on-metal hip replacement surgery have filed lawsuits against the device manufacturers. For example, in a lawsuit filed against DePuy that began in January 2013, one plaintiff was awarded more than $8 million. Her attorneys argued that a bad design and metal ions in the bloodstream severely impaired the plaintiff’s health and ability to walk. Furthermore, Johnson & Johnson had to pay about $2.5 billion to thousands of plaintiffs, according to a 2013 settlement.
In 2015, a plaintiff who sued Wright Medical Technology was awarded $11 million. Allegations in this lawsuit were that Wright did not accurately represent the safety of its metal implants. Stryker Orthopaedics also settled a lawsuit against thousands of plaintiffs for more than $1 billion.
How a Washington Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit Can Help
Device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by defective medical devices may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to 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.