Complications with Hip ImplantsApril 17, 2018
Like any major surgery, recovering from hip replacement surgery can be a painful process, even if there are no complications. However, when something goes wrong, and the patient experiences extreme discomfort, swelling, or develops an infection, it could mean that there was a problem with the hip replacement device used in the procedure.
Unfortunately, there have been serious complications associated with two such hip implant products, which has led to a number of medical malpractice lawsuits. Smith & Nephew hip resurfacing products and the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement device have caused a host of serious medical issues. These range from exposure to toxic metals to serious infections.
DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant
The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant is a metal-on-metal hip device used in certain hip replacement surgeries. Manufacturers believed these would be more durable than other models that are made out of ceramic or plastic. Unfortunately, according to some studies, the metal implants have been known to deteriorate faster, which exposes patients to potentially dangerous levels of metals like cobalt and chromium. As a result, about one in twelve recipients of metal-on-metal devices need revision surgery within five years of the procedure.
Other complications from this device can include:
- Degenerative heart disease
- Non-cancerous tumors that can cause swelling, inflammation, and severe pain
- Bone loss caused by the device moving or loosening
- Dislocation of the implant
- Fractured hip bone
- Risk of bone breakage
- Swelling of the hip, thigh, or groin area
Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Device
The Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system is another metal-on-metal hip replacement device that has caused a range of problems for patients, including metal toxicity, and false brain tumors called pseudotumors. The implant has a spherical metal cap that connects to a metal cup in the hip socket. The defective device has caused patients to suffer premature failure caused by the metal pieces rubbing against each other, releasing particles of toxic cobalt and chromium into the body. Heavy metal poisoning, or metallosis, can cause numerous health complications, including irreversible muscle damage. Patients may also experience some of the same complications that are associated with the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, including chronic pain, the need for revision surgery, loss of mobility, and dislocation.
Female patients are at greater risk of premature failure than male patients, because they tend to have smaller hip joints. In fact, the BHR has a 26 percent failure rate in women after 10 years, a fact that Smith & Nephew failed to communicate to patients and healthcare providers. The industry standard failure rate for this type of device is a maximum of 5.0 percent at the 10-year mark.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Medical Negligence
If you or a loved one has experienced serious medical complications from a metal hip implant, including the need for revision surgery, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will hold the negligent parties liable for the pain and suffering you have endured. Our dedicated team will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve, protecting your legal rights every step of the way. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.