Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Safety Review

In May 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered 21 makers of metal-on-metal hip systems to conduct studies to determine the risks associated with the metal designs. According to the FDA, the metal-on-metal hip implants pose additional risks to patients on top of the general risks associated with artificial hip implants.

Problems with Metal-on-Metal Systems

Metal-on-metal hip implants are made of all metal components. As a patient walks or runs, the parts rub against each other and tiny pieces of metal shed off the implants.

The metal particles can build up around the joint and cause inflammation and damage to the surrounding bone and tissue. Overtime, the inflammation can cause the implant to loosen. When an implant becomes loose, it can result in severe pain, making it difficult for the patient to walk or stand.

In addition, patients with high levels of metal ions in the bloodstream are at risk of injury to the heart, nervous system and thyroid gland.

Symptoms of Complications

The FDA notified patients and healthcare providers of its concerns and said patients should be aware of the symptoms that are associated with these problems. If you've had hip replacement surgery, you should find out if your hip implant is made of all metal parts. If so, you should visit your doctor immediately if you experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the hip, leg or groin
  • Swelling in the hip joint
  • Difficulty walking or standing

It is important to note that there could be other problems that cause these symptoms, including bone fractures and dislocation of the implant. An orthopedic surgeon will conduct tests to determine what is causing the symptoms.

In most cases, if you are experiencing severe pain and problems walking or standing, you will likely need revision surgery to correct the problem. Revision surgery is sometimes more debilitating than the initial surgery and can take more time to recover from.

Contact our defectve hip attorneys today to find out if your case is eligible for compensation.

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