Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff Comment on Recent Studies Showing Heart and Bone Damage Caused by Defective Hip Implants

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The metal-on-metal study addressed public concern over long-term systemic health effects of metal released from hip replacement prostheses 8 years after implantation.

Results are in on 8-year Hip Replacement Study

Results are in on 8-year Hip Replacement Study

It's only now, after more than a million people have received these hips, that the true impact is being studied.

Over the past ten years more than a million people worldwide have received prosthetic hips that are prone to release cobalt and chromium ions into their bodies. There are two types of hips at issue, metal-on-metal, otherwise known as MoM hips (such as the recalled DePuy ASR) and modular hips (such as the recently recalled Stryker Rejuvenate Hip). According to the FDA, in both of these types of hips, wear and corrosion can cause cobalt and chromium ions to be released into a patient’s blood stream.

Mass torts attorney, Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff says, "Despite this known problem, very little research has been done to examine the long-term, systemic impacts of having elevated cobalt and chromium levels, but the tide is finally turning."

Scientists from the Sheffield Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit in the United Kingdom are one several groups of scientists who are looking at this issue more carefully. In a study published earlier this month, researchers examined patients who had metal-on-metal hips 8 years after implantation and compared their overall health to a group of patients who had conventional metal on plastic hip implants. This study exposed the growing concern that chronically high levels of cobalt and chromium can impact bone growth and heart function. The report findings indicated that chronic exposure to low elevated metal concentrations, even in patients with well-functioning metal-on-metal hip prostheses, may have systemic effects. The study was funded by the Sheffield Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit through its core grant from the National Institute of Health Research in the UK.

Talley, also highlights that hip patient advocates are not surprised by the outcome, “We have hundreds of clients who have elevated cobalt and chromium levels as a result of receiving defective hip implants and these results are consistent with what we have been hearing from our clients. It is simply incredible to think that the manufacturers of these hips did nothing to examine how these metals could impact the body before deciding to put these hips on the market. It's only now, after more than a million people have received these hips, that the true impact is being studied.”

What Talley found most disturbing about the study is that it included people who had no apparent problems with their hips and presented with cobalt and chromium levels that were well below those most surgeons consider “toxic.” Talley also noted from the study that the average cobalt levels of metal-on-metal hip patients was only 1.75 parts per billion, while most surgeons do not even consider revision surgery until levels exceed 7 parts per billion. “In most of our cases, the cobalt and chromium levels are well above those that were studied. In fact, we have several clients with cobalt and chromium levels above 200 parts per billion,” reports Talley. Even in hips that are working perfectly, average cobalt and chromium levels are typically 10 times higher than normal.

The scientists conducting the study recommended that additional, longer term, studies be conducted to determine the true health impact caused by these hips. Talley and other lawyers agree that the alarming rate at which these prosthetic hips are failing is a clear indication that the courts have yet to see the tip of the iceberg. As more patients discover their hip replacements are problematic and could potentially cause negative health consequences for many years to come, more case filings are sure to follow.

If you would like to speak with mass torts attorney, Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, he can be reached at (916) 290-9481. For more information on defective DePuy or Stryker prosthetic hips, log onto KCR Legal’s Cobalt Chromium Toxicity Resource Center website at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff is a Sacramento, California based law firm that represents clients in mass tort cases all over the country. Our product liability attorneys are currently working to bring justice for injured hip patients nationwide.

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Candice Danielle
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