Over the last several years, studies have shown that metal-on-metal hip replacements are extremely dangerous and fail at alarmingly high rates. One manufacturer, DePuy, has acknowledged that the failure rate of its ASR XL Acetabular System is at least 15% over five years. Other studies show that the two-year failure rate may be as high as 50%.
In 2010, DePuy recalled its ASR XL system because of these failures and the extensive side effects caused by the device. Side effects of the failures include pseudo tumors, damaged tissue, bone loosening, and other long term complications. The most significant of the complications is the danger that patients may be exposed to high levels of chromium and cobalt in their bloodstreams. Even after a defective hip is removed, it is possible for fragments of the device to remain in the body for years.
In June of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was holding a two day meeting to discuss the problems associated with metal-on-metal hip implants as a result of rising questions regarding the devices’ quality, reliability, and safety. The FDA believes that as many as 500,000 patients may have had one of the versions of this device implanted.
More information has now surfaced suggesting these devices may be linked to cancer. A recent study published in Human and Experimental Toxicology, a peer reviewed medical journal, discusses the toxic effects chromium and cobalt have on the body and the fact that they have been linked to cancer. Patients with these high levels of cobalt are reporting additional symptoms such as ringing in the ears, deafness, dizziness, and vision changes.
In addition to DePuy, Thomas Law Offices is currently investigating a number of other metal-on-metal hip devices on the market, such as those manufactured by Smith & Nephew, BioMet, Wright, Stryker and Zimmer. It is believed that around 1 million metal-on-metal hip devices have been implanted in patients over the last 15 years.
If you believe you have a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, it is strongly suggested that you first contact your physician for a blood test to measure the chromium cobalt levels in your blood. Then, contact a Kentucky product liability lawyer experienced helping clients recover as a result of defective medical devices.
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