Thousands of people have filed lawsuits after their hip replacement began to fail. And most all metal-on-metal hip implants continue to fail. Grant and many other people who had implants in the early 2000s, even five or so years ago, are filing complaints. So much for being told a hip replacement would last about 20 or so years and it would likely outlive you.
About 20 years ago Grant began having hip problems, but his orthopedic surgeon said he was too young for an implant and to wait until he couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Ironically the pain is much worse now. “I had a full football scholarship- football is a collision sport, dancing is a contact sport,” Grant says, laughing. “I don’t remember getting a particular blow and I always wore hip pads. But my surgeon said I had arthritis on my femur and pelvic bone, so I have an osteo-arthritic hip. And I have degenerative bone loss.”
“In this day and age nobody should have to walk around in chronic pain.”
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints and occurs when cartilage wears down. And people with osteoarthritis are some of the most common candidates for hip implants. Grant was in his mid-50s and could only walk about 50 feet before he had to sit down. Any lifting was agonizing—he had reached the point where he “couldn’t stand it anymore.”
Grant had a complete hip replacement and the requisite rehabilitation programs. “I was told the surgery would fix everything and recovery would take a few months but to this day I can’t even empty the cat box—so many simple things are impossible,” he says.
“At first my surgeon said to ‘hang in there’. I believed him at first. But after a few months I had my doubts. It never got better.”
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Grant doesn’t know whether the device is defective or if it was implanted incorrectly—maybe it’s the wrong size? “No doctor wants to turn state’s evidence on another doctor, but I know something is wrong,” says Grant. “How can this metal hip wear out in just nine years?”
From 2002 to 2013, there were 578 recalls from six major manufacturers, according to Consumers Union. Grant doesn’t know which brand he has, but he didn’t get a recall notice. Regardless, these recalls came too late for thousands of people who already received defective hip implants, and thousands of people have defective hips that weren’t recalled