New York, New York (PRWEB) May 21, 2013
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is addressing new research published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery on May 15, 2013. The study found that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify complications that occur in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants even before they have any symptoms of failure. (http://www.jbjs.org/article.aspx?articleid=1684770)
“We’ve known for quite some time that metal-on-metal hip implants can cause complications that lead to early failure,” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “The results of this study suggest that patients who have a metal-on-metal hip replacement shouldn’t wait for symptoms to appear before undergoing diagnostic imaging.” Parker Waichman LLP is representing numerous individuals in personal injury lawsuits over metal-on-metal hip implants s. One recent case was filed on March 19, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, where it is one of many cases pending in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) entitled In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 3:11-md-02244).The firm offers free legal advice to patients implanted with all-metal hip devices.
The study involved 69 patients with a hip resurfacing implant, a type of metal-on-metal hip replacement that places a metal cap over the head of the thighbone instead of inserting a rod into it as with a traditional total hip replacement. These patients were divided into three groups: asymptomatic, symptomatic with a mechanical cause and unexplained pain. Researchers looked to see how well MRI can detect synovitis, inflammation of the joint lining that can lead to early implant failure. The authors found that MRI detected synovitis in 68% of asymptomatic patients, 75% of symptomatic patients with a mechanical cause and 78% of symptomatic hips with unexplained pain. (http://www.healthcanal.com/surgery-rehabilitation/38786-tissue-damage-from-metal-on-metal-hip-implants-appears-before-pain-symptoms-appear.html)
“The study shows that synovitis exists in asymptomatic people in a fairly high prevalence,” said Dr. Hollis Potter, MD, an author of the study. “If that is the case, symptoms alone are insufficient to determine the health of an implant. You can’t wait for people to be sore before we evaluate them for this potential problem.”
Because metal-on-metal hip implants were approved through the 510(k) process in the United States, they were never clinically tested for safety or efficacy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sought to change this by proposing new guidelines that would require the devices go through premarket approval, a more stringent process that mandates device makers to prove that their products are safe and effective. In January, the FDA also issued new guidelines for patients who were implanted with metal-on-metal hips. Among other things, the agency said that imaging techniques such as MRI, CT and ultrasound should be considered in symptomatic patients. This recent study suggests that MRI can be used in metal hip patients before the appearance of symptoms. (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm335775.htm)
Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of the DePuy ASR and other metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with a recalled DePuy ASR hip implant or other metal-on-metal hip implant, please contact their office by visiting the firm's DePuy ASR hip implant injury page at yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney