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Philadelphia Medical Product Liability Lawyers

Risks Associated with Hip Implants and Knee Replacements

Hip Implants

Hip replacement surgery is a common surgical procedure, particularly in patients over the age of 50. In fact, in the United States, doctors perform approximately 285,000 hip replacement surgeries each year. In recent years, medical device manufacturers developed metal on metal hip replacements as an improvement upon the plastic and ceramic implants previously used. Unfortunately, these metal implants posed a range of risks resulting in product recalls, product liability lawsuits and injuries suffered by thousands of patients. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a defective hip implant, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Philadelphia defective medical device lawyer as soon as possible.

Patients have reported a number of complications associated with metal hip replacements. Some of the more common side effects include the following:

  • Implant Failure: As a result of the fact that hip joints are naturally associated with a considerable amount of friction, patients who have metal hip implants have had to undergo painful surgeries to replace their hip implants. In fact, studies have shown that close to 50% of patients have reported implant failure within six years of surgery.
  • Cobalt Toxicity: Cobalt has been used in hip implants to extend the life of the products. When the hip implant begins to fail, metal particles can enter the body, causing cobalt toxicity, which can result in fever, inflammation, low thyroid levels, heart failure, loss of vision, and hearing and organ damage.
  • Metallosis: This occurs when metal particles are released into the body, whereby a build-up of metal debris can develop in tissue and in the bloodstream. This can cause pain in the hip join, swelling and inflammation, numbness, bone loss, tissue death and compromised mobility.

DePuy Hip Implant Recall

In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, announced that they would be recalling two of their popular hip implants, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The recalls came after hundreds of complaints were filed, citing hip implant failure, which resulted in patients requiring painful surgeries to fix the problem. According to reports, approximately 93,000 people worldwide have received the defective hip implant.

The ASR XL Acetabular System is a hip socket replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System is a partial hip replacement that places a metal cap on the ball of the femur. The ASR implant has been associated with the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in implant, groin and/or back
  • Radiographic changes including loosening and dissolution or destruction of cells
  • Cystic or solid masses around the joint

Many of the nation’s top orthopedic surgeons have stopped using these devices due to potentially severe bone and tissue damage. Moreover, even patients who have not experienced issues with the DePuy hip implant could be at risk for future complications. In fact, current ASR implant recipients have been advised to have their blood levels check for cobalt levels. Such patients could require ongoing medical monitoring.

Knee Replacements

Like hip replacement surgeries, knee replacement surgeries have become more common over the past 10 years. Similar to certain brands of hip implants, specific knee replacement systems have had higher than acceptable failure rates within a short period of time following surgery. If you have experienced negative side effects, or required corrective surgeries due to the following knee replacement systems, a Philadelphia defective medical device lawyer can help explain your rights and discuss pursuing a financial settlement.

  • Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex: This porous, femoral implant is attached to the lower portion of the thighbone instead of cemented. Unfortunately, it has been reported that they become loose, and patients have experienced pain following implantation and many have required corrective surgeries.
  • DePuy Knee Implants: Doctors and patients have experienced a wide range of issues with these implants, which has led to a widespread product recall. Certain products became brittle and prone to break down. Another product was mislabeled as to its size. Contact your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms beyond the normal recovery period:
    • Loosening or Instability
    • Swelling
    • Heat or Warmth in the Knee
    • Pain

If a doctor recommends that you undergo revision surgery, it can be much more difficult and painful than the initial surgery, and can be exacerbated by bone loss.

Philadelphia Defective Medical Device Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Help Victims of Hip Implant and Knee Replacement Failure

When a routine hip or knee replacement surgery goes wrong leaving you with debilitating side effects and mounting medical bills due to a product defect, you are urged to contact our Philadelphia defective medical device lawyers. At Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler,  we will review the details of your case and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 800-369-0899 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.

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