Lawyers Help Persons Seeking Compensation for Metallosis From Hip Implants

Defective hip replacements can cause a dangerous condition called metallosis. Hundreds of thousands of patients undergo hip replacement procedures every year, and literally millions of Americans are walking around with artificial hips. Metallosis is one of the most dangerous complications that can result from hip replacement surgery.

While hip replacement surgery has become so common that it is considered a standard procedure, the complications that can arise after a hip replacement surgery can be serious and devastating. If you or your loved one has suffered complications after hip replacement surgery, you may be entitled to compensation.

Dangerous Complications Associated With Metallosis

Total hip replacement has become a standard medical procedure. When the surgery is effective, patients enjoy greater mobility and less pain. Even standard surgeries are rife with risks of serious complications, however, including blood clots, infection, and inflammation. Patients who experience metallosis—a type of metal poisoning—may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim if a defective medical device caused the condition. Claimants have filed tens of thousands of lawsuits over defective hip replacements. Many of these lawsuits have resulted in large out-of-court settlements or jury verdicts.

Metallosis is a Dangerous Type of Metal Poisoning

Metallosis is a condition caused by the buildup of metal particles in the body. When metal-on-metal hip implants are defective, metal particles can build up in the body. These metal particles can accumulate in the organs and tissues and cause nerve damage, bone damage, and allergic reactions.

When the metal cup and the metal head of the hip replacement joint are fitted together to form an artificial joint, these two parts can rub together during normal movement. The resulting friction can create microscopic debris that exits into the bloodstream. These small metal pieces can damage organs and other tissue. The build-up of metal in the bloodstream can cause pseudo-tumors which are pockets of fluid that surround the affected tissue. Patients have reported suffering the following symptoms from metallosis:

  • Cardiomyopathy (heart problems);
  • Skin reactions caused by hypersensitivity to metal;
  • Neurological problems including sensory changes such as auditory or visual impairments;
  • Psychological status changes including cognitive impairment and depression;
  • Impairment of renal function, including kidney conditions;
  • Thyroid dysfunction, including fatigue, neck discomfort, weight gain, and chills.
Treatment for Metal Poisoning

In many cases, when doctors discover that a patient has metallosis, a revision surgery is recommended. During this surgery, surgeons remove the hip implant and replace it with another type of artificial hip joint. Many implants for hip replacements are made of plastic material.

Hip replacement revision surgeries carry risks of their own. Metal shedding can cause extensive tissue damage around the hip joint. Repeated surgeries can cause the bones surrounding the hip to become weak and splinter or fracture. Hip revision surgery is currently the only effective way to remedy the type of metal poisoning caused by hip replacement implants that feature metal on metal parts.

Patients Bring Lawsuits Regarding Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

When manufacturers began producing metal-on-metal hip implants, they marketed these implants as being reliable and durable. Unfortunately, these types of implants have caused dangerous side effects, including metallosis. Metal on metal implants have also seen a significantly high failure rate when compared to other types of implants.

Medical experts have testified regarding a causal link between metal-on-metal hip replacement devices and metal poisoning. This link has been proven through scientific research. Thousands of patients have undergone hip revision surgery after their implants failed or caused metal poisoning. Victims of faulty hip replacement devices can file product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of these defective devices.

Many plaintiffs have successfully recovered compensation against manufacturers of faulty products. Other lawsuits have resulted in confidential settlement agreements. Victims of faulty hip replacement devices have brought lawsuits against the following companies:

  • Smith & Nephew;
  • Stryker;
  • Johnson and Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics;
  • Zimmer;
Do You Have a Valid Claim?

If you have suffered serious complications after undergoing hip replacement surgery, including the symptoms mentioned above, the best way to discover whether or not you have a valid claim is to reach out and speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

You can also contact your surgeon and inquire about what type of hip replacement device was implanted in your body. If the system has been recalled or is under scrutiny in the medical community, you could have a legal claim to compensation. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation with our legal team.

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