Recently, hip implants have been produced out of metal with the belief that metal hips are much more durable than other types of hip implants. However, Metal-on-Metal or MoM hip replacement systems have proven to cause serious problems after only being installed for a few years. MoM hip implants also have additional unique risks in addition to the normal risks of hip implants.
While walking or running, the metal ball and cup in the MoM hip rub against each other. The friction can cause parts of the metal to be worn off of the implant and can ultimately enter the blood stream. There are several precautions taken before and during surgery to reduce the amount of friction from the ball and cup.
Each person is different and can react to the implant differently. Overtime, the pieces of metal that come off of the implant can cause damage and irritation to surrounding areas of the body. Because of this, some patients will require an early revision, which is when the faulty implant is removed and replaced with a new one. Patients also may experience systemic reactions that can include; skin rashes, cardiomyopathy, sensory changes, depression, cognitive impairment, renal function impairment, and thyroid dysfunction.
The FDA recommends that patients with MoM implants follow-up with their surgeon every 1 to 2 years to detect early signs of change in hip status.
In 2016, a Texas federal jury found Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. liable for more than $1 billion in a six-plaintiff bellwether trial. It took less than a day to find Johnson & Johnson and Depuy responsible for concealing the implant’s risk. Each plaintiff will receive between $4 and $6 million in damages.
While each person’s situation is different, if you or a loved one has suffered complications from a metal-on-metal hip replacement, consult with one of our West Virginia defective hip replacement attorneys today to see what options you have.