Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements

Studies have found that metal-on-metal hip replacements, including the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR and Pinnacle implants, are more likely to fail prematurely than devices made from other materials. Some researchers have called for an end to the use of metal-on-metal hip replacements because of the increased risk of health problems they may pose to patients.

According to a study published by The Lancet, metal-on-metal hip replacements can fail up to four times more often than plastic or ceramic devices. Overall, about one in 16 patients with an all-metal artificial hip will require replacement of the device within five years, researchers found. The authors of the study called for restrictions on the use of metal-on-metal devices because of the undue health risks faced by patients who have them.

A second study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that hundreds of thousands of metal-on-metal hip implant patients may have been exposed to toxic levels of chromium or cobalt. When the metal components of an all-metal device rub against each other over time, they can shed metal particles which can enter the bloodstream and cause metal poisoning. When these metal particles seep into muscle and bone near the implant, they can destroy the tissue and cause long-term disability.

Based on findings such as these, the Food and Drug Administration ordered DePuy Orthopaedics and other manufactures to conduct safety studies of metal-on-metal hip implants and submit the results to the agency. Although DePuy has already recalled its DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System hip implants, other all-metal devices made by Johnson & Johnson, Zimmer, Stryker, Biomet, Wright Medical Technology and other companies still remain on the market.

If you or a loved one has experienced problems with a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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