How dangerous are hip replacements?

If you are one of the many Kentuckians who received a metal-on-metal hip replacement prior to 2014, you should be aware that this medical device could be damaging your body without your realizing it. As reported in The New York Times, if you still suffer pain in that hip today, it may be due to the fact that your hip replacement is destroying your tissues around it.

In the story reported by the Times, the patient was himself a doctor who underwent a hip replacement in 2006. His artificial hip was a Johnson & Johnson ASR XL metal-on-metal hip. Throughout the next five years, he experienced so much hip pain that he finally asked colleagues to remove the artificial hip. What they found was horrific. The metal hip had leaked cobalt into the patient’s entire hip area. The result was metallosis, a condition caused by the buildup of metal debris. The metallosis had destroyed not only the patient’s surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons, but also had damaged his brain and heart.

Medical device failures

Johnson & Johnson removed its ASR XL hip from the market in 2010. It nevertheless continued to sell its similar Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip for another three years. Over 9,000 J&J hip replacement recipients subsequently sued Johnson & Johnson over its defective product(s). Six such plaintiffs in New York recently received a $247 million jury award.

Artificial hips are not the only medical devices that have a history of failing. Others including the following have severely injured or even killed the people in whom they were placed:

  • Heart valves
  • Cardiac stents
  • Pacemakers
  • Sprint Fidelis defibrillators
  • Surgical mesh, including transvaginal mesh
  • Vagus nerve stimulators

Unfortunately, nearly 32 million Americans have one or more medical devices implanted in their bodies. If you are one of them, stay up to date on recalls. In 2016 alone, 117 Class I medical devices were recalled. Also report any continuing pain or other symptoms to your physician. Your medical device could be the cause.

This is educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.