A recent New York Times article estimates that as many as 500,000 patients in the U.S. have received artificial hip replacements prone to early failure. Now, the FDA is attempting to tighten regulation of metal-on-metal hip implants, citing “unique risks” not associated with other types of hip implants.
Thanks to a loophole dating back to 1976, manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants have been able to aggressively market their products without conducting clinical studies. As a result, patients may have been given devices that were largely untested and more likely to fail than traditional hip replacements consisting of both metal and plastic or ceramic. In the FDA’s recent Safety Communication they identified the additional risks faced by patients who received a metal on metal hip implant.
These risks include:
- The potential for tiny metal particles to wear off of the device around the implant, which may cause damage to bone and/or soft tissue surrounding the implant and joint
- Soft tissue damage leading to pain, implant loosening, or device failure and the need for revision surgery (a surgical procedure where the implant is removed and another is put in its place)
- The release of metal ions into the bloodstream where they can travel to other parts of the body, possibly causing symptoms or illnesses (systemic reactions)
If you or a loved one has received a metal-on-metal hip implant in the last five years, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your potential case.
Our Experience in Defective Medical Device and Medical Malpractice Cases
Defending The Rights Of The Consumer
At GJEL Accident Attorneys, our more than thirty years of experience assures you that we will investigate the cause of an accident caused by a defective product, obtain the opinions of the best experts in the industry, and fight for your rights to just compensation. We have played a leading role in two of California’s largest medical lawsuits in the last ten years–a $1.05 Billion national settlement with Sulzer AG for surgeries related to defective hip and knee implants, and a $417 Million settlement with Tenet Healthcare for its role in unnecessary heart surgeries at Redding Medical Center. In both cases, attorney Luke Ellis was appointed by the courts to serve as one of the lead plaintiffs attorneys in the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP).
In the Sulzer case, more than 3,000 people had to have surgery to replace their defective hip and knee implants, and approximately 1,000 more who were unable to undergo replacement surgery were covered by the settlement.