Every year, an estimated 250,000 Americans undergo a procedure to replace a damaged hip joint. The new, man-made joints implanted are meant to last problem-free for 15 years or more; yet, in one of the most endemic medical device fiascos in recent memory, one entire category of hip implants is failing at an incredible rate, causing widespread and devastating health consequences.
An Overview of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements
An artificial hip implant consists of two components: a socket, and a ball attached to the top of the femur bone that fits inside the socket. The ball and socket may be made of different combinations of metal, ceramic or plastic.
Those implants in which both the ball and socket are made of metal have proven particularly problematic. As of the end of 2011, more than 5,000 metal-on-metal hip recipients had sought out a defective product attorney and filed a lawsuit against a hip implant manufacturer.
Pain, Swelling, Numerous Other Symptoms Linked To Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
The symptoms associated with a defective hip implant can be varied and painful. As a metal-on-metal hip recipient walks or runs, the components of his or her hip replacement rub against one another, causing tiny metal particles to wear off and enter the tissue surrounding the implant.
These particles can cause extreme pain in the groin, hip or leg, swelling or dislocation at the hip joint, and a limp or change in walking ability. Some metal ions from the defective hip implants may even enter the bloodstream, causing effects on body systems far removed from the hip; metal-on-metal hip recipients should be wary of chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, weakness, fatigue, weight gain or any other changes in general health.
All Manufacturers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements on the Line
The concerns about metal-on-metal hip implant systems are not limited to one manufacturer. However, some devices, like the recalled DePuy hip implant marketed by Johnson & Johnson, are more widely associated with deteriorating patient health.
Get Legal Help in Bergen County
By one estimate, at least 500,000 patients have received a metal-on-metal hip replacement. If you are one of them and you have noticed ill health effects, you may have a right to monetary compensation. Contact a local attorney familiar with state defective product laws to learn more.