Hip replacement surgery is quite common, especially among older people. It’s typically what doctors recommend when the hip joint has been damaged through injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteonecrosis. Hip replacement surgery usually relieves pain and improves mobility. However, there are times when the artificial joint fails and in those cases, some patients hire class action lawyers to look after their interests.
During hip replacement surgery, all or most of the hip joint is removed and replaced with a full or partial artificial hip. When the procedure is successful, the patient’s quality of life improves significantly. However, if the artificial joint isn’t made properly, the patient may continue to experience pain and limited mobility.
Many need further surgery to correct the problems caused by the artificial joint. Several manufacturers of hip implants have been sued by people whose hip replacements failed early. If you believe you’ve suffered losses as a result of your hip replacement surgery, you should reach out to an attorney for advice.
Why Do Hip Replacements Fail?
Medical devices don’t always work as intended. Many hip implant failures occur because the metal components rub against each other when the recipient walks or runs. The resulting metal debris can travel into the tissues of the hip or even the bloodstream. When metal ions get into the tissues, they can cause metallosis which is characterized by degradation of the tissue and bone and pain and inflammation of the hip, groin, or thigh. The implant can also loosen, forcing the patient to get revision surgery.
Meanwhile, when the ions get into the blood, they can cause cobalt and chromium poisoning. Most metal implants are made from cobalt and chromium even if they have a titanium stem. Individuals who are sensitive to these heavy metals can experience serious side effects. Chromium and cobalt have the most significant effect on the sensory system. Therefore, affected individuals may experience vision impairment, hearing loss, short-term memory loss, and a decline in cognitive function.
Signs of a Failed Hip Replacement
Typically, when a hip implant fails, the recipient experiences lots of pain. This is particularly likely if there’s an infection present or the artificial joint is loosening from the bone. You may also experience joint stiffness and begin to limp.
In contrast, if the implant has become dislocated or unstable, your hip may feel normal until a small movement causes it to move out of place. You would experience severe pain and lose the ability to put weight on the foot.
Experiencing pain after a hip replacement doesn’t always mean that there was something wrong with the implant. Your surgeon will need to conduct a range of tests to determine whether the device functioned as intended.
The Background to Hip Replacement Lawsuits
People have been receiving hip replacement surgery for decades. However, many patients whose implants failed allege that in recent times, the manufacturers of these devices have been creating substandard products that are rushed and poorly regulated.
They claim that earlier designs did not present the problems that newer devices do. Many hip replacement lawsuits allege that modern devices are failing because of poor design, insufficient testing, and inadequate quality control. People believe that companies rushed devices into production before they were ready just so they could make money. A few lawsuits have gone to trial and thousands have been settled out of court.
Manufacturers of defective devices should have to compensate individuals who were harmed. In order to claim damages, you will likely have to prove that the implant’s design was defective or the manufacturer didn’t provide enough warnings about the dangers. Some of the companies who have been named in lawsuits are:
- DePuy ASR and Pinnacle Systems
- Stryker LFIT V30 and Tritanium Systems
- Smith & Nephew BHR, BHMH, and RC Acetabular System Products
- Biomet MsZ Magnum and M2a38 Systems
Contact the Class Action Lawyers Coalition to Find Out if You Have a Case
You have the right to be compensated for both your financial losses and the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your failed hip replacement. Given the large number of people looking to sue the manufacturers of artificial hip joints, many of the cases have been combined into class-action lawsuits or multi-district litigation.
By talking to an attorney, you can find out what is the best approach for your case. These matters are time-sensitive so you shouldn’t delay in seeking legal advice. Contact our team of class action lawyers to schedule a free consultation.