According to the lawsuit, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system can fail prematurely causing the formation of pseudotumors, as well as metallosis. Lydia Constantini, who filed the complaint, claims that she developed pain and complications after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in 2008, which is when she had the BHR system implanted. The issues that developed as a result of that BHR implant eventually led Constantini to undergo a second surgery – hip revision surgery- in 2013, during which her surgeon noted that she had developed metallosis and a pseudotumor in her hip. According to Constantini’s lawsuit, the pseudotumor disrupted and compromised her abductor muscle.
Metallosis occurs when metal-on-metal hip implant components rub together causing microscopic metal particles to be released into the bloodstream cobalt. The BHR system contains cobalt and chromium, and particles from these metals were released into Constantini’s blood stream, causing metallosis. Smith & Nephew has issued recalls on certain of its hip replacement implant systems, including the BHR system.
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The lawsuit states: “At the time of the initial resurfacing procedure, neither Plaintiff nor her surgeon were aware of the myriad of problems associated with the BHR. In fact…Smith & Nephew continued to promote the BHR as a safe alternative to other metal-on-metal hip devices long after it knew or reasonably should have known of the risk of premature metal-on-metal failure, and did not withdraw the device from U.S. markets until 2015.”
Notably, due to the number of product liability lawsuits filed against Smith & Nephew over the BHR system, in May the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered they all be centralized before U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake in the District of Maryland.