Why Did Patients Receive Hip Replacements?
Hip replacements are usually done when the hip joint is fractured and needs to be replaced. Some common causes of hip surgeries are:
- Hip rupture
- Septic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Any cases of unusual bone expansion
Also known as Hip Arthroplasty, hip replacement surgeries become an option when there is pain while at rest and impedes daily activities. Doctors also proposed this type of surgery when prolonged medications are not effective anymore.
What Types of Hip Replacement Are There?
The four types of hip replacement devices are:
These devices have metals, sockets, and ceramics. Metal-on-metal (MoM) implants have also been a practice in the medical field and several patients have already chosen to follow this method.
Why Aren’t Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements Approved by the FDA?
These devices are labeled Class III or considered with higher risks. As of this writing, no manufacturers have completed the pre-approval process of the FDA for metal-on-metal implants. Patients who have used this type of insert are expected to discuss and follow up with their surgeons. Some of the symptoms and reported effects of metal-on-metal methods are:
- Pain and discomfort
- Change in mobility
What Are the Complications of Hip Replacement Surgery?
There are several complications recorded after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Some common complications are:
- Different leg length
- Tingling sensation
- Bladder infection
- Muscle weakness
What Are the Risks of Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is considered a major operation, and also poses some more serious risks:
- Hip dislocation
- Blood clots
- Broken ligaments or tissues
- Loosening of implant
- Femur fracture
What Is Metallosis?
Metallosis has also been reported in many cases. It is a condition when there’s an abnormal buildup of metallic elements into the tissues and joints surrounding the hips. Metallosis, also known as metal poisoning, occurs when metal debris is released inside the body after a hip surgery. These elements are harmful to the surrounding tissues and could also affect nearby organs. Metal corrosion happens on both metal-on-metal and non-metallic methods and these instances have led to lawsuits.
Why Are People Filing Hip Replacement Lawsuits?
Patients that are filing hip replacements lawsuits are requesting financial compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Caregiver expenses
- Punitive damages
The above may have occurred due to a problem with the plaintiff’s hip replacement that caused pain and suffering as well as medical expenses and lost work due to a loss of mobility. Many hip replacements have been recalled due to faults, in particular metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. There are currently no metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement prostheses that are approved by the FDA.
Which Hip Replacement Manufacturers Have Issued Recalls?
Several global manufacturers have recalled their hip implant devices due to high failure rates of hip surgeries and an increased number of metallosis. A huge number of cases were filed, including individual and class-action lawsuits. These companies include:
- Biomet (purchase by Zimmer)
- DePuy Orthopaedics
- Stryker Orthopaedics
- Wright Medical Technology
- Smith & Nephew
What Hip Replacement Lawsuit Settlements Have There Been?
An estimate of a $7.5 billion settlement has been made by manufacturers to resolve their hip replacement lawsuits. Most lawsuits caused by metal-on-metal hip surgeries are already closed while thousands of cases remain pending in both state and federal courts. Many companies decided to arrange settlements with the patients and class-action lawsuits. Some manufacturers that have been involved in settlements are:
- Depuy Orthopaedics – $2.5 billion settlement on multistate lawsuits
- Zimmer Holdings – $400 million settlement on Durom Cup lawsuits
- Stryker Orthopaedics – $1.43 billion to settle Rejuvenate and ABG II hip lawsuits
- Wright Medical Technology Inc. – $330 million settlement on hip replacement implants
- Biomet – $56 million settlement on M2a Magnum hip implants
What Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
There are numerous hip replacement lawsuits due to the number of hip replacement failures and recalls. Some of the largest hip replacement manufacturers are facing lawsuits from patients who were injured by faulty hip replacements, many of which were recalled by the manufacturers themselves.
What Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
After introducing the Durom Acetabular Component to the market in 2006, Zimmer needed to recall the device in 2008 due to reports that it failed prematurely on patients. In 2018, there were combined lawsuits against Zimmer’s M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis and Versys Femoral Head. The devices are also reported to suffer corrosion on the elements that could cause trunnionosis. When trunnionosis occurs, metal ions are released into the blood which could lead to metallosis and other severe health problems.
What DePuy Orthopaedics Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
A Texas court awarded five complainants more than $500 million after receiving a DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant last 2016. It was reported that the plaintiffs suffered from defective devices that failed prematurely. In 2013, DePuy made a voluntary recall involving the ASR XL Acetabular System and AS Hip Resurfacing System. They also stopped the sale of Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.
What Stryker Orthopaedics Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
Several model units of Stryker hip implants have been included in lawsuits. Products like Rejuvenate, ABG II Modular Hip System, and LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads have been named in litigations. In 2012, Stryker recalled their Rejuvenate and ABG II products. The recall is based on corrosion at the modular junction of the device. As of 2019, approximately 2000 lawsuits are filed against Stryker.
What Wright Medical Technology Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
Similar to Stryker, Wright Medical also dealt with an estimate of 2,000 lawsuits. As of July 2019, 73 lawsuits have still-pending decisions. Complaints received on Wright’s hip replacement devices are device failure, metallosis, infection, and bone and tissue destruction.
What Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement Lawsuits Are There?
A total of 609 lawsuits have been filed against Smith & Nephew’s hip implants. Cases have been filed due to complaints on Modular SMF and Modular Redapt Revision Femoral Hip. As of 2019, 587 cases are still pending and all active. The investigators also reported that some Smith & Nephew devices are made in Malaysia, despite the company declaring them as manufactured in the US.
Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.