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Defective hip implants: an update

In recent years, several medical device manufacturers have issued recalls for some of their most popular and widely known hip implant components. Recalls have, for the most part, been voluntary in nature following widespread patient complaints about complications linked to the devices. Some of the country's best known medical supply companies have been part of this recall for components sold both in the U.S. and abroad, including:

  • DePuy Orthopedics (recalled devices include the company's ASR line of hip implant components)
  • Biomet (Mallory-Head products have been recalled)
  • Exactech (Opteon and R3 Acetabular head systems have been recalled)
  • Smith & Nephew (recalls were issued for the company's R3 Acetabular metal hip socket liners)
  • Stryker Orthopedics (Rejuvenate, ABG II, Omnifit and Sulzer Inter-Op acetabular shell have all been recalled)
  • Wright Medical Technologies (recalled products include their line of Conserve Plus and Profemur Z Hip Stems)
  • Zimmer Holdings (the company's Durom Acetabular Component / "Durom Cup" and Mayo Hip devices have been recalled)

Why were these recalls issued?

Since the recalls were issued on a company-by-company basis, the exact reasons for them varied, but generally stemmed from either patient reports of complications linked to the faulty devices or ongoing testing performed by the company. As was the case with several of the DePuy products, some of the devices were found to have a much higher failure in a shorter time period than originally reported during the approval process by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How were patients affected by the faulty products?

Some patients who had these devices implanted have thus far suffered no ill effects. This certainly doesn't mean that complications aren't possible, however. These patients could be sitting on a proverbial ticking time bomb: there is no telling if or when these devices could fail. Other patients have had issues with their implants from the beginning, suffering from a wide range of complications, including:

  • Additional pain and suffering
  • Hip dislocation (caused when hip socket implants fail, causing inflammation of and possibly damage to surrounding tissues that keep the joint in place)
  • Femur fractures
  • Tissue death (including bone loss, muscle loss and nerve damage)
  • Metallosis (this is caused when friction of metal-on-metal implants releases microscopic metal fragments into the body that the body's immune system treats as a foreign substance it should fight off, often with catastrophic results)
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Inability to walk (either without the assistance of a cane or a walker, or at all)
  • The need for revision surgeries to install new hip implant components

Several device manufacturers have been subject to ongoing class action lawsuits because of these faulty hip implant components. Have you or someone you love been hurt by a defective hip implant, suffering added pain, the need for additional surgeries or other complications? If so, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pittsburgh law offices of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. Call the firm at (844) 383-0565, or send them an email to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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