Parker Waichman LLP Reports on New Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Study Tying Corrosion of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Components with Adverse Local Tissue Reactions

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Study Published in Journal of Arthroplasty Finds Corrosion of Head Taper Junction was Associated with Adverse Local Tissue Reactions in Patients Fitted with Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Devi

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The Journal of Arthroplasty study is only the most recent research to link the corrosion of metal-on-metal hip replacement components to adverse local tissue reactions in patients fitted with the devices.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people injured by defective medical devices, reports that a new study has found that corrosion of the head taper junction in patients with 36-mm diameter metal-on-metal hip implants was associated with adverse local tissue reactions. The study was published in the Journal of Arthroplasty on May 4, 2012. [arthroplastyjournal.org/article/S0883-5403%2812%2900175-1/abstract]

For the study, researchers evaluated taper corrosion in 36-mm diameter metal-on-metal and metal-on-polyethylene femoral heads from a single manufacturer retrieved for various reasons. The taper corrosion on 19 all-metal heads and 14 metal-on-polyethylene heads was visually graded on a 5-point scale. The grading revealed that the metal-on-metal femoral heads exhibited more corrosion than the polyethylene heads. A total of 8 all-metal heads (42%), compared to only 1 metal-on-polyethylene head (7%), demonstrated corrosion outside of the taper zone.

The study also found that metal-on-metal patients who had undergone revisions secondary to adverse local tissue reactions had greater corrosion scores than patients without reactions. Adverse local tissue reactions in metal-on-metal hip replacements were also likely to exhibit corrosion outside of the taper junction. The corrosion score increased with implantation time, and at all time intervals, the corrosion score for the all-metal group was greater. Because corrosion worsens with time, the study authors voiced concern that metal-on-metal hip implant failures due to adverse local tissue reactions will increase with longer follow-up.

According to Parker Waichman LLP, the Journal of Arthroplasty study is only the most recent research to link the corrosion of metal-on-metal hip replacement components to adverse local tissue reactions in patients fitted with the devices. In March, a large study published in The Lancet showed that there is a 6.2 percent chance patients with all-metal hips will need a replacement within five years, prompting the study authors to call for an end to their use. The month prior, a report in the British Medical Journal warned that hundreds of thousands of people around the world may have been exposed to dangerously high levels of toxic and potentially cancer-causing metals from failing metal-on-metal hip implants. [thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2960353-5/fulltext; bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1410]

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is currently conducting a safety review of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, and last May directed 21 companies that market such implants to conduct post-market studies of their products to determine if they were shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients. Last month, the FDA announced that its Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel will meet on June 27 and 28 to discuss the risks and benefits of metal-on-metal hip systems, and make potential patient and practitioner recommendations for their use. [fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241604.htm]

According to Parker Waichman LLP, metal-on-metal hip implants have been the subject of growing concerns since the August 2010 worldwide recall of DePuy Orthopaedics’ ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the DePuy ASR Acetabular System. The recall was issued after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it. [depuy.com/asr-hip-replacement-recall]

DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, now faces thousands of U.S. product liability lawsuits stemming from the ASR hip implant recall. Most of those lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation before Judge David A. Katz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (MDL 2197). The all-metal version of DePuy’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System has also been named in hundreds of claims filed by plaintiffs who allege it is similar in design to the ASR hip implants and should have been recalled as well. DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation before Judge James E. Kinkeade in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (MDL 2244).

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with an all-metal hip replacement device, please contact their office by visiting the firm's defective metal-on-metal hip implant injury page at http://www.yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

For more information regarding defective hip implant lawsuits and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Contact:
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636
http://www.yourlawyer.com

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Herb Waichman, Partner
Parker Waichman LLP
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