FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-04-25
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a special advisory panel this June to discuss the serious health problems metal-on-metal hip implant devices may pose to patients. The agency seeks the input of experts to help it make safety recommendations for current and potential metal-on-metal implant patients.
Metal-on-metal implants may pose serious health issues for patients. The implants are meant to replace or resurface the ball-and-socket hip joint, where the ball and socket are in constant contact and move against each other. In metal-on-metal devices, both the ball and the socket are made of metal and it is possible for the metal to shred off and leak into patients’ bloodstreams.
Recently, the FDA has required over 20 implant manufacturers, including but not limited to DePuy, to audit their patients for issues pertaining to metal-on-metal implants, particularly whether or not patients have experienced issues related to metal debris.
The issue was first discovered in 2010 in two hip devices manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics: the ASR and Pinnacle hip implant devices. That year, DePuy issued a recall of its ASR system, which was found to fail in 12 percent of patients within five years. DePuy has since been sued in a series of lawsuits by plaintiffs with serious medical complaints and conditions caused by the metal-on-metal implant devices.
Doctors may recommend hip implants to patients who experience pain and stiffness in their hips. While these devices should provide relief from these conditions, they may pose more serious health threats to patients. Recent hip implant patients should be on the look-out for pain in the groin, hips or legs, swelling and changes to gait, since these symptoms may indicate that the implant may be causing trouble. More serious symptoms like chest pain, fatigue and changes in urination are definite causes for concern and should be addressed immediately.
If you suspect that your metal-on-metal hip implant is to blame for your health issue, please consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain any compensation to which you may be entitled.