Concerns About Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants

Powell Law’s attorneys maintain a special vigilance for products, especially medical devices, that may be dangerous to consumers. In 2019, defective medical product recalls, including those for artificial hip implants, are much too common. Any product manufacturer, distributor, or otherwise responsible party may be liable for any injuries caused by a defective medical product that poses a risk of injury. If you have any questions about filing a claim for damages caused by any defective product, contact Powell Law.

Artificial hips may be constructed with ceramic, plastic, metal, or a combination of all three materials. Some hip implants have a metal cup and stalk, for maximizing the strength of both parts of the ball and socket joint. However, recently, MoM (Metal on Metal) implants have shown signs of early failure and dangerous side effects, necessitating device recalls.

Patients prospectively in need of hip replacements have the difficult decision of choosing which artificial device will provide them the greatest amount of mobility and comfort as they age. All artificial hip implants, including MoM hip implants, contain risks. Wear of the component material is a risk that is present in each type of artificial hip implant.

MoM implants also have risks that are unique to MoM implants. For example, the implant’s metal ball and cup slide against each other during movement such as walking or running. Where two implant components connect, metal particles may be released into the space around the implant. Also, at the connection between the metal ball and taper of the stem, corrosion, as well as wear-and-tear, may occur. Ions consisting of metals such as cobalt and chromium may enter a user’s bloodstream.

While an important goal of hip implant surgery is to minimize the production of metal particles, there is no way to completely avoid the production of a minimal number of particles. Each patient’s body reacts differently to the implant making it difficult to predict the effects of and reactions to surgery.

Over a period of time, metal particles from MoM artificial hip implants may cause damage to the bone and tissue that surround the implant and joint. This is known as an “adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR)” or “adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD).” Soft tissue damage may lead to pain, loosening of the implant, failure of the device, and the necessity for revision surgery where the original device is removed and replaced. If the ALTR is progressive, revision surgery may be necessary to prevent extensive damage to bone, muscle, and nerves.

As of 2013, Stryker recalled over 200 models. People have suffered metal poisoning, broken bones, debilitating pain, and other conditions as a result of the following implants:

  • DePuy (ASR XL Acetabular System) 
  • Stryker (Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems) 
  • Zimmer (Durom Acetabular Component, Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology)
  • Wright/MicroPort Orthopedics (Profemur Z Hip Stem, Profemur Neck Varus/Valgus CoCR) 
  • Smith & Nephew (R3 Metal Liners of the R3 Acetabular System)

Since 1906, Powell Law has met the needs of those who require representation in product liability matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from the use of a product, contact Powell Law today at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay a fee unless we win.

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