It’s good news, but it comes late for thousands of Americans implanted with metal-on-metal hip artificial hip replacements: De Puy, a division of Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of both its Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) and Pinnacle models, has announced that it will stop making metal-on metal (MOM) hip implants. MOM hip implants are designed and manufactured to have the cup, ball, and shell all made from cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys.
Most problems have been caused by the friction of the metal ball rubbing, fretting, and corroding inside the metal cup, which typically occurs during walking or running. Soft tissue damage may lead to pain, implant loosening, device failure, and the need for revision surgery (a surgical procedure where the implant is removed and another is put in its place). Moreover, some of the metal ions released can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, where they may cause symptoms or illnesses elsewhere in the body (systemic reactions).
When this happens, microscopic shards of metal are discharged into the soft tissues, causing inflammation, pain, bone loss, swelling and pseudo tumors. According to an FDA Safety Communication, metal fragments can also be released from other parts of the implant where the implant components connect. This is sometimes referred to as an “adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR)” or an “adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD).”
Initially De Puy recalled the ASR model after receiving a large number of patient complaints and reports of early device failures. But even after it recalled the ASR recall, De Puy continued to market and sell the Pinnacle. Currently, our hip implant recall lawyers in Miami are representing injured people in claims and lawsuits against both De Puy and Stryker, the maker of the Rejuvenate device. De Puy is facing nearly 15,000 hip implant claims related to these two devices alone.
We often receive calls from people who have had metal hip implants but feel symptom-free. We recommend that if you have undergone hip implant surgery, you schedule a visit with your surgeon or primary health care doctor for a physical examination at least once a year. At the examination, I believe you should ask your doctor about having the following assessments:
1. Routine x-rays of the implant device.
2. Soft tissue imaging like an MRI or CT scan to detect swelling, inflammation or a pseudo tumor.
3. Blood test to assess metal ion levels.
Studies show that certain patients are at a higher risk for hip implant failures, such as women, patients who have had both sides replaced, and those who are allergic or sensitive to cobalt, chromium, and other types of metal.
Many people simply don’t know the make and model of their implant. Therefore, you should consult with a law office that is experienced in both understanding and recognizing recalled hip claims and lawsuits; many do not know that they are entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and time off from work. Please contact our lawyers for a free consultation regarding your potential case.