The FDA admitted yesterday what plaintiffs’ lawyers have known forever (sorry). Following several recalls of the artificial hip parts, the U.S. health regulator said that metal-on-metal hip implants can cause tissue damage and pain that many necessitate surgery to replace the hip implant.
The hope was just the opposite, of course. Metal-on-metal hip implants were thought to be more durable. Unfortunately, instead of really testing this thesis, the hip implant manufacturers decided it would be best to try it out on real life humans. Shockingly, lawsuits ensued.
What Happens to Metal on Metal Hips Replacements?
Metal hip implants dispel metal into the body because the metal is rubbing together. This is not exactly an unforeseeable development that was discovered a few thousand years ago. Zimmer, Biomet, Smith and Nephew, Wright, Zimmer, Johnson & Johnson and Wright Medical never got the memo, I guess. The metal floating around can cause damage to the bone and soft tissue surrounding the implant. The metal particles may also wear down the implant itself.
There would be a Lance Armstrong and Oprah vibe to all of this if these manufacturers would just recall these hip replacements AND admit responsibility. We have done well on the former, but they still defend these train wreck devices in litigation.
If you have questions about a hip implant device, contact our hip implant product liability lawyers at 1.800.553.8082, or get a free online consultation.
For More Information
- NPR: Metal Artificial Hips May Need A Hip Check (May 23, 2011)
- Reuters: United Kingdom calls for lifelong checks on metal hip implants (February 28, 2012)(because of risks of exposure to toxic metals)