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More Research On The Dangers Of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

An international group of scientists recently condemned Metal-on-Metal hip replacement implants. A report issued by the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Emerging Newly Identified Health Risks concluded that metal-on-metal (MoM) devices should be “avoided” due to their “high failure rate.” Researchers stated that MoMs should be used only on a case-by-case basis, in light of other, more effective available alternatives. For those patients who had already received these devices, the report recommended ongoing followup visits with the surgeon, especially in the first five years when the devices are most prone to failure.

The 14-member SCENIHR is based in Luxembourg. Ten noted experts from Western and Central Europe contributed to the report.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits

In the United States, Biomet, DuPuy – which is a division of Johnson and Johnson – and other device manufacturers have all been the subject of defective hip implant litigation in Illinois and elsewhere. Hip replacement surgery is quite common among middle-aged and older adults, as the joint naturally deteriorates.

In times past, the artificial ball-and-socket joints had metal and plastic components. Then, about twenty years ago, several manufacturers began selling all-metal devices. They claimed the implants were more durable and could last much longer than the earlier Metal-on-Plastic devices.

However, problems soon became apparent, at least to the victims. Over time, tiny metal particles began to flake off and enter the patient's bloodstream. The metallosis resulted in symptoms:

  • Severe Pain: Many victims report a dull, throbbing pain that never seems to go away, but only seems to get worse. Generally, there is pain even during motionlessness.
  • Inflammation: The metal fragments begin to accumulate. Soon, simple physical activities, such as climbing stairs or a stepladder, become difficult, and advanced activities, like running or swimming, become nearly impossible.
  • Dislocation: It only takes a little additional wear for the implant to fail. By this time, many victims are essentially bedridden.
  • Metal Toxicity: The fragments may travel through the victim's bloodstream and into the liver, heart, kidney and other vital organs.

The only effective treatment for metallosis is to remove the defective implant. Because of the extensive damage, many victims face multiple corrective procedures as well.

A MoM device may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but these devices may create more suffering than they were supposed to fix. For a free phone consultation with Arlington Heights defective medical device lawyers, contact our office.

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