Hip replacement surgery is a relatively common procedure for baby boomers and older adults who are restricted from their normal activities due to pain associated with severe arthritis. Usually, this option is entertained only after all non-surgical treatment has failed.
Although the use of prosthetic hip implants date back into the 1960s, there has continued to be an effort by manufacturers to improve on their design. As a result, many implant designs have been around for decades and have long track records of success. Others are newer and have little or no track record.
For many years plastic and ceramic orthopedic implants were used exclusively. Over the last decade, metal hip replacements became more common. It was expected that those devices would be more durable, last longer and reduce the possibilities of dislocation. As a result, some 500,000 people underwent metal hip replacement surgery. Data now indicates that metal on metal hips may be failing earlier than expected, in addition to causing a multitude of other medical problems, such as pain, popping sounds, and the release of metal ions into the body.
British experts have reported that over six percent of the patients with metal hips needed to have them replaced after only five years or less, when they were expected to last 10 to 15 years. This was three times the two percent failure of ceramic or plastic joints.
Most metal hip prosthetic devices on the market in the United States were granted clearance by the FDA for the manufacturer to market the device without having conducted clinical trials. This is not unusual, since 90% of all medical devices marketed in the United States obtained approval under the FDA’s fast track system. That system, tagged the 510k system, waives clinical trials for devices that are similar to other products already being used. Since ceramic and plastic hips had been marketed since the 1960s, new devices were approved without testing.
While recent news reports and lawsuits have focused around the metal hip replacement devices manufactured by Stryker and Depuy that have since been recalled by the FDA, new concerns are reportedly beginning to circulate about metal hip replacement devices manufactured by Biomet. At least one lawsuit has alleged that the FDA had received numerous adverse event reports about Biomet metal hip replacement devices, but the company continued to market them. As with other metal hip replacement devices, reported concerns focus around the need for additional corrective surgeries, pain and discomfort, and the release of metal ions into the body.
If you or a loved one has suffered from the complications of having metal hip replacement failure, or if you have not yet suffered any complications but are concerned about future issues, you should contact a San Antonio lawyer who is experienced in handling hip replacement cases.
Carabin & Shaw has a team of trial lawyers and experienced staff, who have helped clients throughout the state make recoveries for serious injuries and complications caused by defective medical products.
Contact us through our website or call us direct on our toll free number at (800) 862-1260 to schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation. You will never owe us a fee unless we make a recovery for you.
FDA Probes Safety Issues With Metal Hip Replacements, Times Leader, November 18, 2012
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Problems, Article by Jonathan Cluett, M.D., October 1, 2012
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