The Danger of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements – What You Should Know

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By Lisa Marie Vari of Lisa Marie Vari & Associates of Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.posted in Personal Injury on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

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Everyone knows that surgery is risky.  But hundreds of thousands of patients each year deem the risks associated with hip replacement surgery to be worth the reward – restored mobility and an end to their chronic pain.  Unfortunately, thousands of hip replacement patients have fallen victim to the negligence of a company that manufactures the veryartificial hip implant they had hoped would change their lives.  The FDA recently ordered the recall of thousands of metal-on-metal hip implants – manufactured by DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson – after finding them to be faulty.  Luckily for the victims, Johnson & Johnson has recently agreed to a multi-billion dollar settlement designed to compensate the victims.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to the settlement over its DePuy ASR metal-on-metal implant, but the company’s Pinnacle system has also seen its share of product defect claims.  The lawsuits against the company charge that the metal-on-metal hip implants shed metallic debris into the recipient’s blood stream when the metal components grind against each other.  The metallic debris causes swelling, pain and metallosis, which can be dangerously toxic.  The artificial implant also suffers from a list of other complications that have caused thousands of patients to undergo additional surgery.  One investigation found that the chromium and cobalt ions in the metal hip implant causes damage to lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys.  Apparently, the longer the source of the metal debris is present in the body, the worse the damage may become.

Patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements should keep an eye out for growths of lumps, called psudotumors, under the skin.  Though not actually tumors, the psudotumors are fluid-filled sacs, created by the body’s immune system in response to the toxic metals.

Today, metal-on-metal hip replacements account for more than one-third of hip replacements in the United States.  Given the fact that over 250,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed every year in the U.S., experts expect that thousands of patients a will be effected by the faulty implant.  If you or someone you know has had a metal-on-metal artificial hip implant, you may be entitled to recover as part of the Johnson & Johnson settlement.   Call our office today to learn more about the multi-billion dollar settlement and whether you or someone you love may be entitled to recover.

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