With the developing news about the dangerous side effects that many patients experienced who underwent replacement surgery with DePuy hip implants, it is important to understand the concerns that have been brewing over metal-on-metal replacements over the last several years. The New York Times reported earlier this year on the many questions that have existed around these types of devices.
About 1/3 of all hip replacements performed annually use metal-on metal implants. That includes both conventional replacements and the alternative procedure known as resurfacing. Their popularity grew initially because of claims that they would be more durable than previous forms of replacement devices. That means that over 83,000 patients have received this potentially dangerous implant every year.
But problems with the metal-on-metal product are becoming clear.
Studies continue to show that the device can wear down quickly, causing metallic debris to be scattered within and absorbed by patient bodies. The metal release ultimately causes inflammatory reactions leading to bone loss, groin pain, and tissue death at the hip joint. Orthopedic doctors at many hospitals, including several in Chicago, continue to treat a growing number of patients for these types of hip replacement problems.
The cause of the problematic replacements are still being investigated, but experts now agree that the poor design of many of the metal-on-metal devices make the ball of the product press against the socket/cup’s edge. The effect is known as “edge-loading” where a chisel-like process is created that releases the large quantities of small metallic particles, most commonly chromium and cobalt.
One surgeon explained, “It is a sad travesty. It is design-related and technique related.”
Many doctors are drastically reducing their use of metal-on-metal replacement devices. Most notably, DePuy Orthopedics recently recalled thousands of hip replacement implants following the release of developing information that explains just how many patients may have suffered because of the device-many of them still unaware of the problems.
As we have already reported, several DePuy hip recall lawyers have filed a lawsuit on behalf of over a dozen patients who have suffered because of these defective implants. If you have had a hip replacement it is important to check and ensure your device is safe and not part of this recent DePuy implant recall.
Our Chicago product recall lawyers at Levin & Perconti will continue to keep you updated on developments with this medical problem.