More than 300,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States every year. Almost always, people undergo hip replacement because pain from arthritis or other causes is limiting their ability to live life the way they want to. Often, patients seeking hip replacement have given up activities they enjoy, and may be in pain even while at rest.
The surgery can seem like a godsend: elimination of pain, and restoration to function. For most people, hip replacement works out just fine. But for a significant minority, hip replacement is only the beginning of the real pain. Over the past several years, many makers of replacement hips have had serious issues with their products, some requiring recalls. The companies involved include DuPuy, Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet, and Wright.
The defects that have been identified in manufactured replacement hip joints are due to metal-on-metal contact that takes place with the implant. Some of the affected models include:
The metal-on-metal contact may lead to metal fragments sloughing off into a patient's body. This in turn can lead to severe pain and serious medical issues, including tissue death (necrosis), damage to bone (oesteolysis) and metal poisoning (metallosis), which may affect cognitive and cardiac functioning, as well as other systems of the body.
The implant models above have been on the market for various time frames between 1998 and the present; one model, the Wright Profemur Z®, is still on the market despite a failure rate above ten percent.
There is evidence to suggest that at least one company, DuPuy, knew that its implants were causing issues well in advance of the 2010 recall of the product. Their delay in action meant that many patients had a product with known defects implanted. Another company, Stryker, suggested in marketing that some of their implants were "custom-made." This may have given patients a false sense of security that these replacement joints were better for them than others.
It's possible that you are unsure of what make and model of artificial joint you have. Your first step is to consult your physician to report any problems that you've been having and to determine if you may have received a defective replacement joint. If you have one, you may want to discuss with your doctor the option of having it replaced. Unfortunately, complications from the defective implant may result in a longer and more difficult recovery from replacement surgery.
When you consent to have a company's product implanted in your body, you should be able to rely on that product to make your life and health better, not worse. If you are injured by a company's negligence or recklessness after placing your trust in them, you deserve to be compensated for your medical costs and your past, present, and future pain and suffering.
The manufacturers of artificial joints know this. It's in their best interests to get you to accept a settlement early. If you do so, you will be required to sign documents that prevent you from pursuing any further financial recovery. Therefore, you should not accept a settlement from a manufacturer, or anyone claiming to be a representative of a manufacturer, without speaking with an experienced Oregon hip replacement litigation attorney first. Broadspire is the name of one such company claiming to "manage" claims, but actually working for the manufacturer.
The truth is that manufacturers of artificial joints have no incentive to compensate you fairly unless they believe they you and your attorney are willing to take the case to trial. That's why the involvement of an attorney with an impressive track record at trial and in settlement negotiations is critical to the success of your matter.
We invite you to contact Huegli Fraser PC for an analysis of your claim. Learn more about filing a claim for harm caused by a hospital, doctor, medical provider, or maker of medical implants:
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent medical malpractice attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
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