What Are Hip Replacements?
A hip replacement is a surgery that replaces part or all of the hip joint with a prosthetic joint. The surgeon removes the damaged parts of the hip joint and then replaces them with hip prosthetics, which are usually made out of metal, extremely hard plastics, or ceramic.
Hip replacement is also called hip arthroplasty, and is generally the last resort medical treatment for hip pain. It should only be recommended if joint pain is bad enough that it’s interfering with a patient’s day-to-day life and other treatments have not worked to treat the joint pain. Hip replacement failure can result in further damage to an already damaged hip joint and may need further surgery, with more medical bills, greater risks, and longer recovery to endure.
Thousands of patients who have gone through hip replacement failures experienced a negative impact on their mobility and health. Many patients sued the companies responsible for manufacturing the implants, citing design flaws and a failure to adequately warn of potential failures and complications.
If you have experienced complications as a result of hip replacement failure, contact us right away for a free consultation. You won’t pay a dime unless your case is successful.
Who Makes Hip Replacement Devices?
Companies that manufacture and sell hip replacements include:
- Zimmer Biomet
- DePuy Synthes Orthopedics (Johnson & Johnson)
- Stryker Orthopaedics
- Smith and Nephew, Inc.
- Wright Medical Group
Some of the most commonly used hip implants are:
- DePuy PINNACLE hip
- Stryker Rejuvenate
- Stryker ABG II
- Biomet M2a Magnum
Risks of Hip Replacement Surgery
As with any surgery, there are risks of side effects and complications. The most common complications that can occur with hip replacement surgery are:
- Bone fractures
- Blood clots
- Different leg lengths
- Nerve damage
- Excessive bleeding
- Heart attack
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Bone loss
Increased Risk of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements
Metal-on-metal hip replacements, such as the DePuy PINNACLE hip, have their own risks and complications. The metal was designed to be more durable and to last longer but was found to actually fail sooner than other types of hip implants in many cases.
Over time, the wear of the metal ball on the metal socket can produce metal shavings that get into the area around the implant and even into the bloodstream, causing infections and other complications in the tissue and high metal ion levels in the blood. This can also erode the bone, which can cause the need for revision surgery to replace the hip implant.
Complications and Risks of Hip Replacement Failure
A hip replacement failure occurs when the component parts of a hip implant become loosened from one another, or when the hip implant dislocates from the bone it’s attached to. This could be caused by a failure of the hip implant or of the bone cement used to anchor the implant to the bone. A suspected hip implant failure can be confirmed by a doctor via X-ray.
Loosening occurs when either the hip implant has not firmly attached to the bone, or when the implant gradually loosens over time. The symptoms of the hip joint loosening are:
- Popping, grinding, or other noises from the hip implant
- Swollen joint
- Difficulty walking
Implant Design Flaws
Many complaints about hip implants that have resulted in lawsuits were over hip implant failures. Patients claimed that the failures of their hip implants were the result of design flaws on the part of the manufacturers.
Litigation Against Hip Replacement Manufacturers
There are thousands of lawsuits against the companies that manufacture hip replacement implants. The litigation is over defects, both design and manufacturing, and over the companies’ failure to adequately warn patients of the risks of using that implant in their hip replacement surgery.
Lawsuits Against DePuy
The lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, the company that owned DePuy Synthes Orthopedics, alleged that the company had inaccurately sold their metal-on-metal PINNACLE hip replacement as a longer lasting alternative to the ceramic and polyethylene versions.
The plaintiffs had, however, found that their PINNACLE hips had failed because of design flaws that had led to tissue death, revision surgeries, bone loss, and other injuries. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay millions of dollars after many lawsuits found in favor of the plaintiffs.
Lawsuits Against Stryker
Stryker was sued over both of its primary hip replacements, the Rejuvenate and the ABG II. Similar to the PINNACLE, these were metal-on-metal hip replacements that had begun to fail early. Stryker voluntarily recalled both types of hip implants and in 2017 and settled out of court with the plaintiffs for upwards of $1 million.
Lawsuits Against Biomet
Biomet’s metal-on-metal M2a Magnum and M2a 38 hip replacements were also the subject of litigation. In 2014, Biomet settled its case and was to pay $56 million dollars to plaintiffs, who had claimed that the hip replacements were faulty.
When to Consider a Hip Replacement Lawsuit
Here are some questions to ask if you’re trying to figure out whether you have a case:
- Have you had a hip replacement surgery and a metal-on-metal hip implant?
- Have you experienced loosening or hip replacement failure?
- Has that failure resulted in pain, injury, infection, and further surgeries?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a case against the company that manufactured your hip implant. Contact Farah & Farah now for a free consultation to determine the eligibility of your case. Our attorneys are highly experienced with medical cases and will fight for the justice you deserve. You don’t pay anything unless your case is successful, so don’t delay. Contact us now.