Are You In Pain Because Of Your Hip Replacement?
If you are suffering from arthritis, a fracture or any other injuries and debilitating conditions in your hip, the most common activities like getting out of chair, walking and climbing stairs can be excruciatingly painful. The cartilage that cushions the joint can wear down with age causing a condition called osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (which generally occurs among women) can also damage the hip. Damage can also be caused by an injury. One of the ways to alleviate this medical condition is hip replacement surgery or hip arthroplasty. If your doctor determines that you are a suitable candidate for hip replacement surgery, your surgeon will then make a decision about the type of hip replacement device for you on the basis of your anatomy, lifestyle and medical history.
A hip joint is made up of a “ball” and a “socket”. The ball is the top of the femur, the thigh bone. It fits into the socket, which is in the pelvis (made up of the two hip bones). This joint can wear down over time or become damaged – that’s when a hip replacement may be necessary.
There are three types of hip replacement surgery:
- Total hip replacement – where both the ball and the socket are replaced, in addition to the femoral system.
- Partial hip replacement – only femoral head (the ball) is replaced
- Hip resurfacing surgery – the socket is replaced but not the ball. Instead of replacing the ball, surgeons reshape it and cover it with a metal cap.
When hip implants fail they can cause serious conditions. Faulty hip replacements are often associated with metal-on-metal (MoM) implants – that is, artificial hips in which both the ball and the socket are made of metal. With wear, they can produce metal particles that might damage the surrounding bone or tissue. This resulting condition can be painful and should not go untreated.
Each year there are more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States. Usually hip implants improve the patient’s mobility and general quality of life. However, when they fail, the results can be disabling.
If you’ve had a hip replacement, be sure to look out for the following signs:
- Sounds, like popping or grinding
- Lack of flexibility
- Difficulty walking
Hip implant manufacturer lawsuit
Following reports that more and more people were getting sick from metal-on-metal hip replacements, the FDA ordered 21 manufacturers of hip replacement devices to provide an explanation. One of the manufacturers – DePuy - is facing almost 12,000 lawsuits from the patients who received their ASR hip and 3,000 from the patients who were the recipients of their Pinnacle hip.
In 2012, Stryker Corporation withdrew two of its hip replacement systems – the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II – in the US, as well as stopped all of its global sales of these systems. The recall came after the company issued Urgent Field Safety Notice to notify surgeons about the potential health hazards associated with the aforementioned models. The problems with the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II included corrosion and “fretting” (movement between the femoral head and the implant’s cup that causes friction and wear of the hip replacement system over time).
Another global manufacturer of orthopedic devices – Zimmer – has already paid almost $400 million in damages to the patients who sustained injuries from their Duron Cup. The lawyers representing the plaintiffs claim that Zimmer failed to properly warn them of the risks associated with the device, did not adequately test the cup before releasing it, and gave misleading statements about the product’s safety.
Although Wright Medical, the manufacturers of the Conserve hip systems, haven’t publicly acknowledged that they had produced defective hip replacement systems, the company did agree to pay $7.9 million in fines in 2011.
Many people who’ve suffered hardship because of a faulty hip implant are eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit filed against the manufacturer. They could be awarded damages to compensate for expenses incurred for such things as medical care, the services of a caregiver or transportation.
Gurfein and Douglas “Lawyers with an Edge” is a leading New York law firm; we specialize in the field of class action lawsuits such as hip replacement lawsuits. Our firm has many years of experience advocating for people whose health has been damaged. We can offer you a free consultation here in New York City to discuss a Mass Tort. It involves no obligation whatsoever.