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Hip Implant Failure and Metal on Metal Implant Cases
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Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR and Pinnacle
Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham
Biomet Hip Systems
Wright Medical Pro Femur
Wright Conserve plus
Stryker ABG II
Biomet M2a Magnum
Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Offer No Advantages Over Older Versions
A new study has found that newer artificial hips, including metal-on-metal varieties, offer patients few advantages over traditional metal-on-polyethylene or ceramic-on-polyethylene versions. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, also found that people who received all-metal hip implants were more likely to require repeat surgery than those who received traditional implants.
The hip implant study, which was commissioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), compared newer metal-on-metal or ceramic-on-ceramic hip implants with traditional metal-on-polyethylene or ceramic-on-polyethylene ones, according to a report from WebMD.com. A team of researchers led by Professor Art Sedrakyan of Weill Cornell Medical College looked at 18 studies including more than 3,000 patients as well as outcomes from 830,000 hip replacement surgeries reported to various national registries.
According to WebMD, data from the three largest registries – from Australia, New Zealand, and England and Wales – revealed evidence of higher rates of early implant failure associated with metal-on-metal devices, compared to metal-on-polyethylene implants. One study showed fewer repeat surgeries for device failure for ceramic-on-ceramic implants, but the registry data did not support this conclusion. The research team was unable to find any evidence that newer hip implant types improved functioning and quality of life or reduced the need for revisions.
“A large and high-quality randomized controlled trial of bearing surfaces in total hip replacement needs to be conducted before any claims of benefit are made,” the journal article stated.
Sedrakyan told Reuters that the findings indicated that people with all-metal hip implants are doubly at risk of requiring a repeat procedure.
“There’s more work needs to be done before drawing more definitive, worldwide conclusions, but it is probably not likely to change the signal that these metal-on-metal implants are failing at a greater rate,” Sedrakyan said.
He advised patients who are about to receive a metal-on-metal hip implant to ask their doctor why they thought this type of hip implant was warranted.
As we’ve reported previously, it is believed that metal-on-metal hip implants can shed dangerous amounts of cobalt and chromium through wear, leading to tissue damage, premature device failure, the need for revision surgery, and even long-term health problems. In May, the FDA directed 21 makers of all-metal hip implants, including DePuy, Zimmer, Stryker, Biomet and Wright Medical, to conduct post-market studies of their devices to determine if they were shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients.
Metal-on-metal hip implants include DePuy Orthopaedic’s ASR hip implant, which was recalled in August 2010 because of a higher-than-expected early failure rate. Other all-metal hip replacements that have been the subject of complaints include the all-metal version of DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implant system.
There May Be Other Related Products with Faulty Prosthetic Implants
Dr. Lawrence Dorr, a surgeon, complained that a component in an artificial hip made by Zimmer was failing in his patients. In a letter sent Thursday, the lawmaker, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, also asked the company, Zimmer Holdings, to disclose how it tracked the long-term performance of its orthopedic devices. Zimmer, which is based in Warsaw, Ind., said in a statement that it welcomed the opportunity to discuss its policies, including how it responded to surgeon complaints.
This feedback can lead to modifications and improvements to products, their labeling and the manner in which we train and educate surgeons about our products, Zimmer said. In his letter, Senator Grassley said his inquiry was prompted by a June 20 articlein The New York Times that detailed disputes in recent years between Zimmer and two of its top consultants. The disputes involved different Zimmer products, in one case, a knee, and in the other case, a hip device component. In both instances, Zimmer blamed surgical technique, rather than the implant, for the failure of the device.
In the case of the hip, the consultant, Dr. Lawrence Dorr of Los Angeles, alerted other orthopedic surgeons two years ago that a component known as the Durom cup was failing in patients soon after implant, requiring costly and painful replacement surgery.
For its part, Zimmer said that the problem was Dr. Dorr’s technique and provided the Food and Drug Administration with data from 12 surgical centers showing that the hip was working well. Based on that information, the agency decided to close its investigation of the device, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, Mary Long, said earlier this year. But two orthopedic surgeons who supplied the data to Zimmer told The Times in June that the Durom cup also began to fail soon afterward in their patients and that they no longer believed the problems were technique-related. Zimmer maintains the product is safe.
What are the symptoms from a faulty hip prosthetic?
The patients who reported problems in the first five years and had revision surgery reported a variety of symptoms. These symptoms included pain, swelling and problems walking. These symptoms are normal if you have just had a hip replacement. But if the symptoms continue or come back, it is a sign that there may be a problem such as
- Hip Replacement
- Loosening, when the implant does not stay attached to the bone in the right position
- Fracture, where the bone around the implant may have broken; and
- Dislocation where the two parts of the implant that move against each other are no longer aligned.
Your hip implant is made up of ball and socket components that move against each other. These components are made of metal that wears over time and generates very small particles that can only be seen with a microscope. This is an expected process. These particles do not cause problems for most patients, but a small number of patients may react to these particles, causing fluid to collect in the joint and in the muscles around the joint. While this condition may initially be painless, if left untreated, this reaction may cause pain and swelling around the joint and could damage some of the muscles, bones, and nerves around the hip.
What should I do if I have been affected by a faulty hip replacement?
If you have have been affected by a faulty hip replacement, give us a call to see if you may qualify for a Lawsuit Claim. Please call us or fill out our short form on the right and we will be in contact with you immediately.
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