On January 17, 2013 the FDA issued a safety communication to surgeons and
patients about the "unique risks" connected with metal-on-metal
hip implants. The
DePuy ASR hip replacement and some DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements are metal-on-metal implants. These implants are the subject of approximately
10,000 lawsuits in U.S. state and federal courts. Our Ohio DePuy hip implant
lawyers are representing plaintiffs in several of these cases.
In the communication, the FDA acknowledged that metal released from metal-on-metal
implants can cause an "adverse reaction to metal debris," which
may lead to pain, failure of the implant, and a need for surgery to replace
it. The FDA also acknowledged that the metal debris can cause illness
in other areas of the body as it travels through the bloodstream. But
the FDA concluded that it does not have enough data to state what concentration
of metal ions in a patient's blood or tissue is necessary to produce
adverse systemic effects.
The communication had these recommendations for patients with metal-on-metal
- Patients who develop pain, swelling, numbness, noise (popping, grinding,
clicking or squeaking) in the hip, or changes in their ability to walk
should contact their orthopedic surgeons immediately.
- Patients who experience any changes in their general health, such as symptoms
outside the hip area, should inform their doctors that they have a metal-on-metal hip.
- Patients without symptoms whose surgeons believe their implants are functioning
properly should routinely follow up with their surgeons every one to two years.
The communication had these recommendations for orthopedic surgeons following
up on patients with metal-on-metal implants:
- Surgeons should thoroughly evaluate a patient with a metal-on-metal hip
who experiences symptoms in the hip area such as pain, swelling, noise
in the joint, or difficulty walking more than three months after surgery.
- Symptomatic patients should be evaluated at least every six months.
- Patients without symptoms should be evaluated every one to two years. The
evaluation should include a physical exam and routine radiographs.
Surgeons should be aware that certain patients with metal-on-metal implants
should be followed more closely because they have a greater risk for adverse
reactions. Some patients in this category include:
- Patients with implants in both hips.
- Patients with suppressed immune systems or who are receiving high doses
- Patients with renal (kidney) insufficiency.
- Patients who are severely overweight.
- Patients who are highly physically active.
In addition, the FDA has instructed manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip
implants to conduct studies that will provide doctors and patients with
additional information about the safety of these implants. You can read
the entire communication on the
If you have a DePuy hip implant and are experiencing any of the above-described
symptoms, you may be entitled to compensation. The
Ohio DePuy hip implant lawyers at Rourke and Blumenthal, LLP will be happy to evaluate your case. Call
614-220-9200 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We promise
that an attorney will respond to you within 24 hours. You will never be
turned away by a paralegal or secretary.