Help! My Hip Implant Hurts!
Before they undergo the procedure, patients are usually informed what kind of hip implant device will be used in their hip replacement surgery. Many patients however do not remember what was implanted years later, as, quite understandably, they had a lot of other things on their mind before this serious surgery.
If you are experiencing excessive pain around the implant site, or pain radiating from the implant itself, you should consult with your surgeon. When you do, be sure that you ask them what type of hip implant device was utilized and whether it was a model that is crafted using a combination of metal, ceramic and plastic or metal on metal.
Why do you need to ask? If you feel that you are suffering from complications that arise directly from the hip implant itself, this is very important information to provide to a defective hip implant attorney to help them determine if you may have a case against the implant’s manufacturer regarding a defective device.
At Baron & Budd we are experienced in litigating hip implant lawsuits. We offer free and confidential consultations to patients – or their loved ones – who have suffered complications after the placement of a hip implant, and as such may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured as well as for future medical expenses from the device manufacturer. To schedule a consultation call us toll-free at or complete our online contact form.
Known Risks Associated with Metal on Metal Hip Implants
Metal on metal hip implants are known to be particularly problematic. Risks and side effects commonly associated with them include – but are not limited to -all the following:
- Implant loosening
- Implant instability
- Loss of hip joint motion (known as hip impingement syndrome)
- Loss of mobility
- Nerve damage
- Tissue damage
- Tissue calcification
- Severe pain
- Severe inflammation
- Metallosis (metal poisoning) and associated kidney/thyroid issues
- Bone death (avascular necrosis)
Major manufacturers these hip implants include Johnson & Johnson, Wright Medical, DePuy Orthopaedics, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Biomet, and Zimmer.
Hip Implant Frequently Asked Questions
As the hip is such an important part of the human skeletal system, when it becomes damaged it can be a life-changing event. The fact that a hip replacement is now possible is, therefore, huge for many people.
The hip is one of the body’s “ball and socket” joints. The socket is a large portion of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. The “ball”, located at the top of the thigh, is known as the femoral head. When you walk, jump, or run the two are supposed to work in tandem perfectly.
When a hip is damaged, this function becomes impaired. At this point, the natural hip can be replaced by an implant that is designed to function in the same way as the natural hip. However, it has been found that how successfully the implant works often depends upon what type of implant is used.
In the natural hip, there is a layer of cartilage between the “ball and socket” that provides a cushion between the two, allowing for free movement and to prevent damage and erosion of the joint. That is mimicked in a hip implant by a liner. However, it has been found that, especially in the case of metal on metal implants, that the two metal elements rub together, releasing tiny metal particles into the body, which can lead directly to the complications and side effects many have complained of.
Design is important as well, and it seems that some hip implants are better designed than others. And all of them do carry some risk of side effects. If these risks were not adequately explained to the surgeons prior to surgery, then the manufacturers may be held responsible. If you are experiencing hip implant complications, discussing your legal options with an experienced attorney is a great first step.
Many metal on metal hip implants were subject to a fast-tracked approval process called the 510(k) program. This allows for faster FDA approval for products if their manufacturer can prove they are substantially similar to a product already in use. This meant that once the first device was approved, many more followed very quickly, before adequate research into possible side effects and complications could be completed.
The good news is that some of the earlier metal on metal devices have now been recalled by the FDA. The recalls included metal on metal hip implants manufactured by all of the following companies:
- DePuy Orthopaedics
- Stryker Orthopaedics
- Wright Medical Technology Inc.
- Smith & Nephew
The FDA has also acted further on the issue of metal on metal hip implants, issuing FDA Safety Communications stating that, “Metal-on-metal hip implants have unique risks in addition to the general risks of all hip implants. “
However, these hip implants were extensively used, and many patients still have them. A failure to properly test and study their devices leaves the manufacturers liable in common sense legal opinion.
If you have suffered as a result of a hip implant, contact us today to discuss your potential case and possible legal recourses for the pain and suffering you have lived through and for coverage of future medical expenses.