Defective Hip Implants
Hip replacement surgery is a serious procedure that is typically followed by six or more months of recovery. Ideally, the hip replacement will provide the patient with increased stability and mobility for 10, 15 or even 20 years. Many patients, however, find that their hip implants are defective and they begin to experience serious side effects and complications within only a few years of their surgery. Even patients who diligently attend numerous check-ups and physical therapy sessions can experience defective hip implant failure. All of their recovery effort will be wasted if the hip replacement was defectively designed, assembled, manufactured or implanted.
Hip Implant Statistics
According to the National Hospital Discharge Survey, there were 51.4 million inpatient surgeries performed in the United States in the year 2010. During that same year, 332,000 patients received a total hip replacement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hip replacements are among the most common surgical procedures in the United States and that they are growing in popularity. In fact, the number of hip replacement surgeries performed in the United States increased by 30 percent from 1996 to 2006. A significant number of these procedures, however, resulted in serious complications that required additional medical attention.
What Makes a Hip Implant Defective?
There are many inherent risks to having a medical device installed inside your body. Even properly designed and implanted devices can fail. When there is an increased rate of failure for one particular device, it must be determined if it is defective. Common side effects of defective hip replacement systems include swelling, pain, debris buildup, loosening, fractures, dislocations, and loss of mobility.
Faulty hip implants may cause:
- Debris buildup: Metal parts on hip implants can rub together resulting in the discharge of small metallic particles into the bloodstream. This often creates a higher level of blood toxicity.
- Bone fractures: In some cases, a defective hip implant can cause significant damage to the surrounding bones, muscles and tissues.
- Dislocation: Defective hip implants can become loose and ineffective. Others may completely fail and dislocate resulting in a painful and serious medical condition.
- Ossification: This is when inflammation caused by an implant results in the creation of cartilage and bone.
- Osteonecrosis: Some victims of defective hip implants experience a reduced blood flow to bones and joints.
Defective Hip Implant Recalls
Many hip replacement manufacturers are currently facing lawsuits from patients who have received defective implants. The lawsuits claim that the companies provided defective devices and that the manufacturers failed to warn the public about the risks they faced. Companies commonly involved in hip replacement lawsuits include, DePuy, Wright Medical, Zimmer and Stryker.
- DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) hip replacements: According to the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, the DePuy ASR has the highest rate of failure among hip implants. The industry standard for hip replacement failure is 3 percent within five years, but the DePuy ASR implants fail about 13 percent of the time. As a result, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson issued a worldwide recall in the year 2010.
- Wright hip replacements: These devices are designed to maximize joint stability, but they have a high failure rate. Hip replacements are designed to last at least 15 years, but The Australian Orthopedic Association reports that the Wright Profemur hip replacement has a revision rate of 11.2 percent within three years of surgery. The National Joint Registry for England and Wales found that Wright Conserve hip replacement failed at a rate of about 8.35 percent after five years.
- Zimmer: In 2008, Zimmer recalled their Durom Cup after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that the instructions for use and surgical technique were inadequate.
- Stryker: In 2012, Stryker recalled two types of artificial hip implants after a number of patients experienced painful swelling. The defective devices were prone to fretting and corrosion resulting in damage to the patient's tissue.
If you are experiencing pain, discomfort and swelling in your hip after receiving an implant, it is important that you speak to your doctor right away. Hip revision surgery may be needed if your implant is not working properly. For many, the revision surgery is even more complicated than the original surgery because there is less bone and more scar tissue for surgeons to deal with. Therefore, the surgery may be more expensive and the recovery time may be even longer than the original procedure.
Rights of Injured Patients
Each year, many patients opt to receive hip implants with the hope of reducing pain and increasing mobility. When these devices fail, patients can suffer significant physical and financial issues. Many experience long-term health effects and financial burdens. Filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for the defective device is often the best way to receive fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, suffering and other related damages.
The experienced California medical device recall lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have represented those who have been seriously injured as the result of faulty medical devices including faulty hip implants. We have what it takes to fight against large corporations and help injured victims and their families secure fair and full compensation for their significant losses. Please contact us at 1-800-561-4887 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.