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Are Hip Replacement Lawsuits Increasing?

Medical Devices

According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), there are 450,000 hip replacements each year in the United States. Many people opt for a hip replacement surgery after their hip becomes damaged from arthritis or other health issues in order to increase their mobility. However, a hip replacement can lead to further health complications that can worsen a patient’s quality of life and put a financial burden on them and their family.

Hip replacement lawsuits are growing as a result of the reported health risks that come with the implant, including metallosis and the risk of cancer. Those who are suffering from a defective medical product should contact a lawyer. A lawyer can help a patient and their family get the compensation that they deserve for their losses, including medical bills and lost wages. A lawyer can also hold the guilty parties accountable for their negligence in releasing a defective medical product.

What are Metal Hip Replacements?

When a patient’s hip is damaged from arthritis or other health issues, they may need to get a hip replacement. Hip replacement products often have ceramic, plastic, or metal components. A metal hip replacement component includes a ball, stem, and shell that are all implanted in the patient’s body. However, research shows that metal hip replacements have led to a variety of additional health complications, including metallosis, cobalt and chromium poisoning, and pseudotumors.

These different health complications are often tied to metal debris being released into the patient’s body. This is because metal-on-metal hip replacements will often grind together while the patient is moving, leading to debris. The debris is toxic for the patient and has led to a variety of medical issues. These health issues often require more medical intervention that can put both an emotional and a financial burden on a victim and their family. Victims are encouraged to reach out to a defective medical device lawyer if they find that they are experiencing medical complications from their metal hip replacement surgery.

Why are Hip Replacement Lawsuits Increasing?

Hip replacement lawsuits are on the rise due to the many issues that consumers are facing. According to the AHRQ, one-third of hip replacement patients have metal implants. This is alarming, due to the many health issues that are tied to metal hip replacements. This issue does not only affect one specific company, but a variety of medical device companies that have metal hip replacement products. Victims of metal hip replacements have already received over $65 billion dollars from awarded lawsuits.

Those who believe they are suffering from health issues related to their metal hip replacement should contact a lawyer to help secure their entitled compensation for any losses that resulted from the implant. Many current victims are citing damages for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. A lawyer can help determine what losses that their client endured from their hip replacement in order to fight for fair compensation.

What is Metallosis?

When a patient has poisoning due to metallic debris building up in the soft tissues of their body, it is referred to as metallosis. Metallosis occurs when the two metal components of a metal-on-metal implant grind against each other, releasing metal debris in the patient’s body. This metal debris is toxic and leads to further health issues, including organ damage and tissue and bone death. This can ultimately force a patient to have revision surgery on their hip, which can become a financial burden for the victim and their family.

Symptoms of metallosis include:

  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Skin irritation
  • Hip pain
  • Bone deterioration or loss
  • Loosening of the implant in the bone
  • Tissue death
  • Dislocation
  • Heart problems

Patients may be more susceptible to metallosis if:

  • They are female.
  • They are severely overweight.
  • They have bilateral implants.
  • They are very physically active.
  • They have a poor immune system.
  • They have a sensitivity to metal.

Those who are experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to contact a doctor immediately for an evaluation.

What are Pseudotumors?

Pseudotumors are when a patient experiences lesions on the soft tissue surrounding the hip implant. This is caused by a reaction to the metal debris that is released into the body from metal-on-metal hip replacements.

This type of lesion is not always noticeable to a patient, however, research shows that it affects a large quantity of hip replacement users. In fact, a study in the Journal of Arthroplasty revealed that 68.6 percent of patients in the study developed pseudotumors, and 60.9 percent of the asymptomatic group developed the pseudotumors.

Who is Liable for My Defective Hip Replacement?

A hip replacement is supposed to help a patient with their mobility and reduce pain. However, a hip replacement can lead to further health complications. When a victim suffers from a metal hip replacement, they may wonder who is considered liable for their injuries.

There are typically three ways in which a medical device is considered defective:

  • Marketing Defect: A marketing defect is when the manufacturer fails to properly warn the consumers about the health risks involved with the medical device.
  • Manufacturing Defect: This is when the product is created in a way that deviates from the design, making it a danger to the consumer.
  • Design Defect: This is when the product is created as designed, however, the design itself is what makes the product dangerous or ineffective.

Health complications that result from a metal hip replacement are considered a design defect. This is because the product was created as originally designed, however, the design itself is a health hazard. The product developers are responsible for creating a safe and effective medical device. When health complications occur as a result of a defective medical device, victims can take legal actions for their losses.

A victim can reach out to a lawyer for help with their case. Their lawyer will likely file a medical products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product. If the claim goes to court, the victim’s lawyer can help to advocate for the victim by showing evidence of the injuries or illnesses that the victim endured from the hip replacement surgery.

Hiring a lawyer helps a victim ensure that they are receiving a fair settlement offer from the defendant. Many defendants take advantage of a victim’s legal ignorance by giving them a low settlement offer. A lawyer can help ensure that they receive an offer that covers former and future damages that may occur as a result of the hip replacement surgery.

Philadelphia Defective Medical Device Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Help Victims Suffering from Faulty Metal Hip Replacement Products

If you are facing complications related to your metal hip replacement, you need to contact a Philadelphia defective medical device lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our lawyers understand both the financial and emotional burden that a defective hip replacement can put on a patient and their family. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.