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Study of Hip Implants Detailed Risks

Metal-on-metal hip replacements were criticized early on in their usage. But a study released last year  summed up the warnings and risks. The study was one factor in the FDA’s decision to monitor all patients who received these surgeries.

According to a CBS News story released when the study was complete, the British researchers called on doctors at the time to stop using the implants altogether, saying the risks of adverse effects were too great.

The researchers looked at data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. They found more than 400,000 such hip replacements in that time, more than 31,000 of which were metal hip replacements (most are ceramic or plastic).

When compared with the ceramic and plastic implants, 6% of those with metal-on-metal implants needed surgery to repair or remove them. Of those with plastic or ceramic joints, only 1.7 to 2.3% needed replacement.

Researchers and doctors alike spoke out after the study was published in The Lancet, saying that these hip replacements weren’t worth the risk. Prior to that study, however, other warnings had been issued.

An investigation from BBC News and the British Medical Journal found that ions from metal hip replacements could destroy muscle and bone when ions seep into surrounding tissues. The possibility of lymph, liver, spleen, and kidney damage was also found to be present. At that time, the British group Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency recommended patients with metal hip implants get blood work done annually to ensure the metal wasn’t contaminating their blood.

A year ago, a Weill Cornell Medical College associate professor of public health, Art Sedrakyan, prophetically said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just the beginning of the storm… A lot of products have been allowed onto the market without clinical evidence they work.”

As a patient and consumer of medical products and services, you deserve to know that what you are putting in your body is safe. The maker of these devices owes you that. When your surgery leaves you in more pain or more at risk of ill health than you were beforehand, something is wrong.

If you’ve received a metal-on-metal hip implant and are experiencing the negative consequences (pain, illness, and future surgeries), you could be entitled to compensation. Contact our offices today to discuss your legal options and how we might be able to help.