In March of 2012, a new study was published in the medical journal Lancet regarding the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants. Experts in Britain studied data from more than 400,000 hip replacements in the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, the world's largest joint registry.
Researchers focused on the years 2003-2011. They found that metal-on-metal hips were repaired or replaced 2-3 times more often than traditional implants made of ceramic or plastic. Britain's health regulators urge its citizens to undergo annual examinations for as long as they have a metal-on-metal hip in place.
Previous studies have shown that metal-on-metal hip implant components wear down quickly, can generate metallic debris, and lead to the following problems:
- Severe pain in groin, hip or leg
- Unusual "clicking" or "popping" of the joint
- Loosening of the product from the bone
- Loosening of the product causing fracture in surrounding bone
- Bone and tissue damage and/or necrosis from metallic wear debris
- Elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in bloodstream
- Serious injuries due to cobalt poisoning
- High early failure rate
If you have had a hip replacement and are experiencing hip/groin pain, difficulty walking or a worsening of symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your orthopedic surgeon for a physical exam and an evaluation based on your symptoms. Additionally, patients with metal-on-metal hip implants should have yearly blood tests to check chromium and cobalt ion levels to monitor dangerous metal levels in their bodies.
If you or a loved one have been implanted with a metal-on-metal hip implant and have undergone revision surgery or suspect that you may need to undergo surgery in the future, please contact our firm for important information regarding your legal rights.