In Recognition of Arthritis Awareness Month, National Medical Device Law Firm Warns about Dangers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

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All-metal hip implants, which are often used to treat arthritis symptoms, have become controversial after reports linked the devices to high failure rates, bone loss, tissue death, elevated chromium and cobalt levels and other painful side effects

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Parker Waichman LLP, a national personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is recognizing Arthritis Awareness Month by warning that metal-on-metal hip replacements used to treat arthritis may cause serious injuries leading to revision surgery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 232,857 total hip replacements among arthritis patients in 2004. [cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis_related_stats.htm]

According to Parker Waichman LLP, arthritis is the inflammation of the joints arising from deteriorated cartilage. There are over 100 different variations of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form. Patients with arthritis typically experience joint pain, swelling, stiffness and limited mobility as a result of the disease. In some cases, patients undergo hip replacement surgery to alleviate their symptoms. Metal-on-metal hip implants, which make up about a third of all total-hip replacements, are a controversial type of implant that has been increasingly linked to safety concerns over the past year. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002223/; nytimes.com/2011/12/28/business/the-high-cost-of-failing-artificial-hips.html?_r=2&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1338315851-ZdLO5g6/9a4VPKlVYu8SRA]

According to Parker Waichman LLP, metal-on-metal hip implants are associated with serious side effects, including

  •     High failure rate
  •     Necrosis (tissue death)
  •     Increased levels of cobalt and chromium ions
  •     Pain at the implant, sometimes spreading to the groin and back
  •     Osteolysis (bone loss)
  •     Fluid collections/solid masses around the hip joint

Metal-on-metal hips became particularly controversial when DePuy Orthopaedics recalled the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System in August 2010, after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales found that the devices were failing in 1 in every 8 patients (12 to 13 percent) within five years. [depuy.com/asr-hip-replacement-recall]

In February, the British Medical Journal alerted the public about potentially high levels of metallic ions released by all-metal hip implants. The following month, The Lancet published a study showing that metal-on-metal implants failed at a rate of 6 percent in five years, as opposed to the 1.7 to 2.3 percent seen in their plastic or ceramic equivalents. The authors subsequently advised a ban on the devices. [bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1410; thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2960353-5/fulltext]

Most recently, a study published in the Journal of Arthroplasty linked corrosion of the head-taper junction in large diameter (greater than 36mm) metal-on-metal hip implants to adverse local tissue reaction. [arthroplastyjournal.org/article/S0883-5403%2812%2900175-1/abstract]                    

Last May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked 21 metal hip makers to conduct post-market studies to determine whether or not the devices release toxic amounts of metallic debris. On June 27th and 28th the agency’s Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel will discuss the risks and benefits of metal-on-metal implants. [fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241604.htm]

Parker Waichman LLP is a leading mass tort, environmental and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs in metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits nationwide. The firm has offices in New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida. For more than two decades, Parker Waichman LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation due to the negligence of others. For more information on 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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Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
Parker Waichman LLP
(800) 529-4636
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