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Hip Replacement Recall Guide

Our website was established to assist patients and their loved ones in their search for information regarding recalled hip replacement products, as well as to identify additional hip replacement products which, although not yet recalled, pose the same or similar threats to patient health as the recalled products.

For many years the hip replacement industry was dominated by manufacturers that primarily relied on ceramic materials in the manufacture of artificial hip products. Nearly a decade ago, in an effort to "increase patient mobility" (and, of course, corporate profits) the major manufacturers, including DePuy and Stryker, introduced metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacement devices. Today, FDA warnings and recalls, as well as thousands of lawsuits, suggest that these new devices were inadequately tested prior to being marketed to the public. This has led to serious patient injuries.

FDA Warnings and Recalls

Even though early evidence suggested that the metal products were prone to a host of problems including a form of metal poisoning known as metallosis, up to 500,000 patients in the United States alone received metal-component hip devices. In addition, the FDA has warned of a number of other risks commonly associated with these hip replacement devices including:

  • Osteolysis (damage to bone and tissue near the implant)
  • Dislocation of the hip
  • Fracture of the bone at the cite of implantation
  • Infection
  • Damage to nerves

In 2010, DePuy was forced to recall both its ASR Acetabular Hip System as well as it's ASR Hip Resurfacing System, primarily in response to reports published in England. The studies suggested that nearly 30% of the ASR devices were removed or replaced less than seven years after the initial implant surgery. Some evidence indicates that DePuy continued to market the ASR products up until their recall in 2012, despite early internal studies suggesting a failure rate approaching 40% within the first five years.

In the spring of 2012, the Stryker Corporation issued an Urgent Safety Notice alerting both doctors and hospitals that they had information suggesting both their Rejuvenate and ABG II hip devices had experienced an increased rate of Adverse Local Tissue Reaction arising from microscopic bits of metal being shed by those devices. Shortly thereafter, in July of 2012, Stryker issued a recall for those two metal-on-metal devices because the rubbing metal released metal ions into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream, called fretting.

In 2012, Smith & Nephew issued a recall for the metal liner that was part of their R3 Acetabular System, citing many of the same complaints that had been lodged against the DePuy and Stryker MOM devices.

In addition, some manufacturers continue to market MOM devices despite public misgivings over their safety. Included in the products being closely monitored and/or litigated are those manufactured by the following companies:

  • Biomet
  • Wright Medical
  • Zimmer

Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacements

Metal-on-metal hip replacement products, originally marketed by manufacturers as a great leap forward in both function and durability, have proven to be quite the opposite. In addition to the complications that are possible with all hip replacement operations -- such as infection, dislocation and damage to the immediate tissue and bone in the area of the implant -- the MOM devices appear to have several complications that are unique.

Specifically, osteolysis appears to be a more common complication due to the reaction of the body to the bits of metal that are shed in the fretting process. Essentially, these microscopic pieces of metal are deposited in the flesh and bone at or near the site of the hip product. In an effort to get rid of what the body senses to be a foreign object, inflammation develops. If allowed to persist over a period of time, this adverse local tissue reaction can cause significant, long-term damage. That can leave the patient no choice but to undergo a painful and often complex revision surgery.

Worse still, these microscopic ions of metal have been known to travel through the blood stream and, in the more serious cases, are known to poison bodily organs. This type of metal poisoning is called metallosis. Unfortunately, metallosis is not usually diagnosed until the later stages, when the most internal injuries have been done. Most experts now recommend that regardless of the brand of the hip replacement or whether or not it has been recalled, all patients who have received a metal hip or hip component should be immediately tested for elevated levels of metal in their body or bloodstream.

How to File a Lawsuit Against the Manufacturers of Recalled Hip Replacements

For those patients who are suffering from injuries as a result of the implantation of a MOM hip device, whether or not their particular hip has been recalled, it is important that they discuss their rights with a qualified hip replacement law firm as soon as possible. Some of the injuries are obvious, such as a dislocated hip or severe pain, while other injuries, including metallosis, can progress silently until irreversible damage is done. Given the very serious side effects suffered by so many MOM patients, anyone who was implanted with a metal component should seek immediate legal assistance.

Generally speaking, while these types of claims do not qualify for class-action treatment they are still litigated in a manner that is somewhat similar to a class action. They are often lumped together for pretrial discovery and settlement discussions, placing fewer burdens upon the individual claimants. While claimants ultimately reserve the right to go to a trial on their individual cases, as a practical matter settlement often results without the necessity of a trial. Making the decision to hire an attorney to represent you is critical. Studies have shown that on average an injured party represented by an attorney recovers three times as much over a direct settlement with the manufacturer when a making a claim for damages on a recalled product.

The second most critical decision to be made is which law firm to hire. Considering you likely will be seeking significant damages from a multibillion-dollar, multinational corporation you need to be sure that you hire a firm with the strength and experience to get the job done. Look at the firm's track record: Have they been successful in recovering large sums of money for past clients or are they new to this type of litigation?

If a Multi District Litigation (MDL) or Multi County Litigation (MCL) order has been signed consolidating claims for the type of product that has injured you, has your prospective attorney been selected to serve on the plaintiff's committee? Attorney's that are on the plaintiff's committee are already fully involved in the litigation that matters to you and are so highly regarded that they have been selected to be a leader in the litigation by the people in a position to evaluate their abilities.

Need More Information?

If you are not sure if you have a claim or have questions about a potential claim feel free to contact us at the number on this site. You really can't afford to delay your free phone consultation with one of the very best law firms in the country as both your health and your legal rights are time sensitive. Procrastination can be deadly or leave you without an opportunity to recover financially. Find out your rights today then make a decision as to whether a hip replacement lawsuit is right for you or your loved one.

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