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Typically, hip replacement devices are expected to last between 10 and 20 years. Some newer-generation hip replacement devices, however, have been linked to a higher failure rate in a shorter time. In some cases, the high failure rate has been blamed on metal-on-metal components, while others have been attributed to fractures near the device, loosening of the device, instability due to joint dislocation, metal debris being absorbed by the patient's tissue and unusual wear and tear.
Defective Hip Devices
One of the biggest concerns about hip replacement devices revolves around metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, in which a metal ball (the femoral head), a metal femoral stem and a metal cup are used to make up the device. Metal-on-metal hip implants are marketed as being more durable than traditional implants and therefore more suitable for younger or more active patients.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Failure
The failure rate for metal-on-metal devices, however, is allegedly significantly higher than the failure rate of hip implants made from other materials. One report estimated the failure rate of certain devices was 30 percent within six years.
At least one study, published in BMJ (British Medical Journal, 11/11), suggested that metal-on-metal hip replacement devices are at best only as effective as traditional implants and may have higher revision rates.
The DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip replacement system is a metal-on-metal hip replacement device. The ASR XL Acetabular System was recalled in August 2010, amid reports of a higher than normal failure rate. Among the issues allegedly linked to the DePuy ASR XL was the releasing of metal particles that came off the device and entered into the blood stream, causing problems with the nervous system and heart, and potentially causing cobalt poisoning. Furthermore, the metal particles could cause damage to the bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant, which could result in loosening of the implant.
DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Failure
The DePuy Pinnacle is a hip implant system that allows the surgeon to determine whether the liner inserted in the cup is metal, ceramic or polyethylene. According to some reports, the Pinnacle is allegedly linked to a high failure rate due to the stem loosening and falling out of the cup.
DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Failure
Sales of the Zimmer Durom Cup were suspended on July 22, 2008, due to issues with the surgical technique instructions. In a letter to surgeons, Zimmer noted that there were some specific steps surgeons who implanted the Durom cups used that were most highly correlated with a successful implant. The same letter noted that problems with the hip post surgery required revision up to 5.7 percent of the time.
Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Implant Problems
In 2008, Stryker recalled two Trident hip implants, the Trident Acetabular PSL Cup and the Trident Hemispherical Cup. Among the issues reportedly linked to the Trident replacements were severe pain, difficulty walking, squeaking joints and broken bones.
Stryker Hip Implant Problems
Biomet hip replacements are metal-on-metal implants that were allegedly linked to a high failure rate, possibly due to metallosis (metal poisoning, caused when metal debris is absorbed by the patient's tissue).
Biomet Hip Replacement Failure
If you have had revision surgery to replace defective hip implants, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Defective Hip Implants Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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